First, the trial is finally under way for the man charged with killing washington redskins star sean taylor, six years after the crime. Taylor was shot during a botched burglary of his home in 2007.... See More
First, the trial is finally under way for the man charged with killing washington redskins star sean taylor, six years after the crime. Taylor was shot during a botched burglary of his home in 2007. Gio benitez is tracking the case. Good morning, gio. Reporter: Taylor's death shocked the nation. He left behind a girlfriend and a baby. On his first day of trial, the alleged killer of nfl star sean taylor, makes a stunning allegation, that his confession was coerced. It's the key question for jurors. Taylor was a safety for the washington redskins. But one november night in 2007, the 24-year-old was killed at his miami home. Now, with accused gunman eric rivera in court, taylor's girlfriend, emotionally remembers -- sean woke me up. And told me, he had heard a noise. And to call the police. Reporter: Jackie garcia, niece of actor andy garcia, said taylor grabbed a machete by the bed. And an intruder kicked open the door. I heard gunshots. And I screamed. I got up. And I saw sean laying facedown, surrounded by blood. Reporter: Police say taylor, shot in the leg, was bleeding to death. Garcia says she never saw the shooter. But prosecutors say 23-year-old rivera confessed to the killing. Investigators say it was a botched burglary, that rivera and four friends thought the house was empty. They were looking to steal money. Sean taylor, defending himself, defending his family, defending his home, is shot by this defendant. Reporter: In court, prosecutors showed jurors casts of what they say are rivera's footprints from inside the house. They they say rivera, who pleaded not guilty, drew diagrams and said he tossed the gun into the everglades. His defense attorney says the videotaped confession was coerced. Detectives were under such press to close this investigation, they forced my client to confess to this crime. Reporter: Rivera is charged with first-degree murder. But he was 17 at the time. He won't face the death penalty. Only one of the alleged accomplices has pleaded guilty. And he may testify against reveive rivera. Let's get dan abrams back for this. That videotape confession is tough to fight. You want to get a videotape confession excluded before the trial. And his attorneys almost certainly did that. They lost. And so, now, the confession comes in. And it's much harder to say to a jury, don't believe what you saw. Once they hear it. Yeah. Don't believe him confessing. You want a judge to say, this is inadmissible. There are legal rules here that apply. We're not going to have the jury see this. Once the jury sees it, a lawyer arguing, he was coerced, you shouldn't believe it, very hard argument to make. We heard gio say, one of the accomplices will testify against him. You have other evidence, too. You have cell phone data linking him to the neighborhood. You have the footprint matching the exact shoe he was wearing and the testimony of a fellow coconspirator, effectively, who has pled out. You have a lot of pieces. Tough defense. Against all that, doesn't appear to be premeditation here. And he was young, 17. That's the key to the argument. Maybe ordinarily, you can't believe it. But this kid was 17. That's why he was coerced. That's why you can believe he wasn't of sound mind, in effect, when he made this confession, when he did this, et cetera. But still, that's only going to get you a little bit. Meaning, that's the kind of argument that may help you more in sentencing than in the guilt or innocence phase. And so much more that as the trial goes on, he could figure out a way to plea out? That generally happens before. Sometimes it happens during the trial, particularly if one side is doing badly. This is not a case where they're going to offer a good deal. As a result, that's probably why he's willing to risk it on going to trial.
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