Prosecutors earlier played a detailed, videotaped confession by Rivera, including diagrams he did showing where the group was in Taylor’s house when the former University of Miami star was shot. On the stand Tuesday, Rivera said he simply repeated back to investigators the story they had told him, and said he was concerned when they said his family might be in danger.
“‘Tell us your side of the story, and we’ll make sure nothing happens to your family,’” Rivera quoted police as telling him. “At that point they’re telling me I’m going to jail, these guys are saying I did it. It was about my family at that point. I thought they might be in danger or something.”
Rivera, 17 at the time of the slaying, faces life in prison if convicted. Earlier testimony indicated that the five young men apparently thought Taylor would be out of town at a Redskins game that night, but he was home with a knee injury.
Prosecutors say Taylor died of massive blood loss after he was shot in the upper thigh. He had confronted the group with a machete after authorities say Rivera kicked in his bedroom door, where his girlfriend and 18-month-old daughter cowered under the covers.
Rivera said he bore Taylor no ill will.
“I thought he was a good football player,” Rivera testified.