Ex-Cop Amber Guyger Receives Prison Sentence For Murder Of Botham Jean
The selections for the murder trial are beginning a year after the 26-year-old was killed in his home.
September 06, 2019 at 12:42 pm
Update (October 2, 2019): Following being convicted of murder for the killing of Botham Jean, ex-cop Amber Guyger received her sentence on Wednesday.
CNN reports the 31-year-old will serve 10 years behind bars. The sentence came shortly after it was disclosed that jurors could consider the crime to be one of "sudden passion."
The Texas defense indicates that a victim must have provoked passion from the perpetrator at the time of the incident.
Update (October 1, 2019): Amber Guyger, the former Dallas police officer who killed an unarmed Black man in his home last September has been found guilty of murder.
NBC News reports the conviction came on Tuesday following a week-long trial. Guyger, 31, claimed that on the night of September 6, 2018, she entered what she believed to be her own apartment and thought 26-year-old Botham Shem Jean was an intruder in her home and thus shot and killed him.
In the trial, prosecutors shared texts between Guyger and a fellow cop she'd been dating that were sexual. The exchanges happened moments before the shooting and contradict Guyger's claim that she made the error of mistakenly entering Jean's home because she'd been tired.
While taking the witness stand on Friday, Guyger tearfully lamented the fatal shooting.
"I ask God for forgiveness, and I hate myself every single day … I wish he was the one with the gun who had killed me. I never wanted to take an innocent person's life," she said during the trial.
The case took a turn on Monday morning when Judge Tammy Kemp, who's presiding over the case, decided jurors would be able to consider application of the Stand Your Ground Law during deliberations CBS DFW reports. The defense, which has rarely worked in favor of Black people, is often used for defendants arguing they were protecting some of property such as a home. Interestingly enough, Guyger was in Shem's apartment.
The date for her sentencing hearing has yet to be publicly announced but she could be facing life in prison.
Original: Jury selection is underway for the murder trial of the officer involved in the fatal shooting of Botham Shem Jean in Dallas, Texas, according to NBC DFW.
Former police officer Amber Guyger, who was fired by the department last September, shot and killed the 26-year-old who was watching a football game inside his home. Guyger, who was still in uniform after finishing her shift, claims she mistook her neighbor for a burglar, believing his apartment, located on the floor below hers, was her own.
The 31-year-old, who is white, was charged with manslaughter after she admitted to firing two rounds and killing Jean. Last November, she was indicted by a grand jury on murder charges.
Exactly one year following his death on Sept. 6, 2018, hundreds of people are expected to be questioned by prosecutors for jury selection in the case. The Dallas court is expected to select 12 jurors and four alternates.
The court plans to have jurors selected by September 13 with the murder trial slated to begin the following week.
Guyger's defense lawyers have filed a motion in hopes of getting the case moved out of Dallas. According to NBC DFW, six other alternate counties have been proposed, many of which would include a different demographic of jurors.
While Guyger’s team claims that international attention would make it difficult to find jurors who aren’t biased, State District Judge Tammy Kemp has yet to rule on that motion.
Jean, who worked as an accountant, dreamed of returning to his hometown of St. Lucia to become a prime minister.
His mother spoke to The Dallas Morning News on Friday while saying it’s been a “rough, roller coaster of a year.”
“I just want what Botham deserves, which is justice. That's all I want,” Allison Jean said.
She created The Botham Jean Foundation after her son’s death to continue spreading his legacy and advocate for others dealing with similar situations.
“For those killed by gun violence, those killed by police brutality, I will speak out,” she said.