Guyger: Ex-cop found guilty of murder over the shooting of neighbour Botham Jean

Former Dallas police officer, Amber Guyger has been found guilty of murder by a jury in the shooting death of Botham Jean in his apartment.

She was indicted in 2018 after fatally shooting unarmed Jean. She mistook the apartment to be hers, she said. Guyger lost her job as a result of the incident.

Loud applause and cheers outside rented the air at the courtroom after the jury left. Botham’s case had captured nationwide attention and sparked outrage with many people calling for Justice.

Guyger, gave testimony and said that after working long hours on September 6, 2018, she returned to her Dallas apartment complex and approached what she thought was her apartment.

Ex-cop, Amber Guyger who shot in court. Photo credit: Reuters

The ex-cop discovered that her door was partially opened. She pulled out her service weapon and shot a figure inside in the dark which turned out she was at the apartment directly above hers — which belonged to Botham Jean, thinking the deceased was an intruder.

Legal doctrine

Jean’s family attorneys after the judgment, said the Jurors asked for a definition of manslaughter and for additional information on the so-called castle doctrine which has a legal notion that your home is your castle, and you have the right to use lethal force to defend your home and not retreat.

The jury ruled that Guyger was guilty of murder after considering the legal doctrine in the case. It is an offence that carries a sentence of up to life in prison.

The ex-cop who was in uniform but off duty following a daylong shift said she wanted to “find the threat” after hearing movement in her apartment. That’s when she saw a silhouette and demanded to see his hands.

Guyger further explained that James started approaching in a “fast-paced walk”. This made her fire two shots at what she believed to be an intruder. One of the bullets struck and killed Jean.

The prosecuting counsels said the late Jean had been relaxing in his apartment with a fresh bowl of ice cream shortly before he was shot around 10 p.m. CT.

Guyger whose voice was shaking asked for forgiveness saying “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.

The prosecutors further said Guyger was distracted that night, texting with her married police partner, with whom she had a sexual relationship with. According to them, she missed numerous signs in the hallways leading up to Jean’s apartment indicating she was on the wrong floor.

Jason Hermus, the lead prosecutor, lambasted the ex-cop for entering the apartment rather than backing away to seek cover or call for officer assistance over her police radio. He also argued enough first aid was not rendered to Jean.

A medical examiner said the bullet entered just above Jean’s upper left nipple and travelled downward. This damaged his heart and several other major organs before landing in his psoas muscle. This he said in an intention to kill.

What did Guyger do after the shooting?

Guyger realized she was in an unfamiliar place after the shooting. and dialled 911 on the phone. She added that a “little” CPR and a sternum rub was performed on Jean.

Guyger admitted that she never used first aid supplies from the backpack she had when she shot Jean. She added that her mind was racing while on the phone with a 911 operator.

She was initially charged with manslaughter on September 2018. But a grand jury indicted her on a murder charge the next month.

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