As a Miami native and football fan who went to Sean Taylor’s rival high school and graduated the same year as he did, this one hits home for me. I remember watching my high school buddies play against Taylor and although our teams were rivals on the field I recall him being a team player who had many fans and friends. He led his school to the state championship and set a state record for most touchdowns in a season – 44.
After graduating from high school, Taylor played college football for the University of Miami and was part of the Hurricanes’ 2001 National Championship team, earning unanimous All-American honors. In 2004 the Washington Redskins chose Taylor with their fifth overall draft pick but he would only play for them for four seasons.
Taylor had his whole life ahead of him until he died on November 27, 2007 from critical injuries from a gunshot by intruders at his Miami home. His death devastated both Miami and Washington, D.C. as he was a fan favorite in both cities. But today, finally, over seven years later, each of the five men accused of fatally shooting Taylor have been determined to be legally responsible for the crime. According to NBC Sports, Timmy Lee Brown will spend 18 years in prison for his role in the crime. As for the other four: Charles Wardlow, Eric Rivera and Venjah Hunte, will be serving 30-year, 60-year and 29-year sentences, respectively. Jason Mitchell, the alleged mastermind of the burglary, received a life sentence after being convicted last year.
Almost two years after the tragic 2013 Boston Marathon devastated America, jurors in the bombing trial have found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty of all 30 counts, 17 of which carry a possible penalty of death. Deliberations took 11 and a half hours. Next the trial will move into the penalty phase where the jury will determine whether or not Tsarnaev will receive a death sentence. He is 21 years old.
The bombs Tsarnaev planted with his brother at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, nearly three hours after the winners crossed the finish line, killed three people, wounded more than 250 and left Boston in shambles.
According to CNN, the survivors are relieved by and grateful for today’s verdict, describing it as something they can put one more step behind them. The family of Sean Collier, the MIT police officer killed by the Tsarnaev brothers in the days after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, said they are “thankful that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will be held accountable for the evil that he brought to so many families.”