Sean Taylor Trial Opening Statements Were This Morning: UPDATES

Eric Rivera

Eric Rivera

Opening statements were this morning in the case of Eric Rivera, allegedly the shooter of Sean Taylor during the botched burglary that resulted in Mr. Taylor’s death. The state has indicated in their opening that Mr. Rivera gave a sworn confession, which will be played at trial. Rivera’s attorney countered that the police were in a hurry to close the case, and forced a false confession out of Mr. Rivera. That’s a difficult defense, as Mr. Rivera’s own words may be used against him. The state also has a co-defendant who has been offered a deal to testify against Mr. Rivera and the other defendants. The case will continue most of this week, and maybe further.

UPDATE:  CBS Miami has video from opening statements on there website, here. Friend of crimcourts, Janese Caruthers, handled the Defense opening, but CBS only included video of the state’s statement.

UPDATE: I found some more video on, which includes a clip of the Defense opening by Ms. Caruthers, and a portion of the testimony by Taylor’s girlfriend, Jackie Garcia. (More on Ms. Garcia’s testimony can be found here.) We still haven’t heard how the cops allegedly coerced the confession by Rivera. The State smartly is starting with their strongest witness: making their case and building sympathy before the tough questions they have to deal with about coercion. Details are slim, as a gag order has prevented much public discussion of the case. The ABC legal analyst is right, that it is very hard to overcome the video-taped confession. ABC has more details here.


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