April trial set for Lee County man accused of killing NFL star Sean Taylor

Eric Rivera, Jr., 17, listens to Lee Circuit Judge Hugh Starnes on Saturday, December 1, 2007 during his first appearance at the Lee County Justice Center in Fort Myers, Fla.  Rivera and three other men were arrested Friday in the shooting death of Washington Redskins player Sean Taylor.

Pool Photo/Stephen Hayford, News-Press

Eric Rivera, Jr., 17, listens to Lee Circuit Judge Hugh Starnes on Saturday, December 1, 2007 during his first appearance at the Lee County Justice Center in Fort Myers, Fla. Rivera and three other men were arrested Friday in the shooting death of Washington Redskins player Sean Taylor.

A judge in Miami has set an April 16 trial date for the alleged shooter in the 2007 killing of Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor.

Four Lee County men accused in the slaying will be tried separately. The judge said Friday that the first to stand trial will be 21-year-old Eric Rivera Jr.

Trial dates for Charles Wardlow, Jason Mitchell and Timmy Lee Brown have not been set.

The men from the Fort Myers area are accused of fatally shooting Taylor during an attempted robbery at his home. All have pleaded not guilty and face potential life prison sentences if convicted.

A fifth man, Venjah Hunte, previously pleaded guilty to murder and burglary charges and is likely to testify against the others.

Taylor was an All-Pro with the Redskins who also starred at the University of Miami.

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