White cop Amber Guyger is found GUILTY of murdering her black male neighbor who she shot dead in his apartment ‘after thinking it was her own’
Jurors who were also allowed to consider a manslaughter charge, after a few hours of deliberation chose the graver option of murder
On Sept 6, 2018 Dallas patrol officer told investigators, after a 13.5 hour shift she parked on the fourth floor of her apt complex’s garage rather than the third floor where she lived
She proceeded to Botham Jean’s apt, directly above her’s, and finding the door unlocked, stepped in only to be confronted by a silhouette in the dark
Believing she was at her own apt and seeing a silhouette of a figure who didn’t respond to verbal commands, she fired two shots at Jean that killed him
Jean, a 26-year-old accountant, had been eating a bowl of ice cream on the couch before Guyger entered his home and shot him
Guyger’s account of events had been contradicted by neighbors who claimed to have heard a woman banging on a door, demanding to be let in
She faces a prison sentence of up to 99 years
Guyger, a four-year veteran with Dallas Police, was off duty but still in uniform when she fatally shot Jean in his home on the evening of September 6, 2018.
She told investigators that after a 13.5 hour shift she parked on the fourth floor of her apartment complex’s garage – rather than the third floor where she lived – and found the apartment’s door unlocked.
Believing she was at her own apartment and seeing a silhouette of a figure who didn’t respond to verbal commands, Guyger said she fired two shots at Jean that killed him.
Jean, a 26-year-old accountant, had been eating a bowl of ice cream on the couch before Guyger entered his home.
Prosecutors argued during the trial that Guyger should have noticed she was on the wrong floor and that she missed missed numerous signs before entering the apartment.
They suggested she was distracted by sexually explicit phone messages with her police partner and also questioned why Guyger didn’t radio in for help when she thought there was a break-in at her home instead of entering the apartment with her gun drawn.
Prosecutors pointed out that Guyger, given she was still in uniform, had a number of non-lethal items attached to her service belt at the time of the shooting, including a stun gun and pepper spray.
They argued in their closing statements on Monday that her belief she was killing an intruder in her home was entirely reasonable and the shooting was a result of ‘a series of horrible mistakes’.
Her attorneys argued that shooting Jean was a ‘split-second decision’ made by Guyger.
Jean, who grew up in the Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia, came to the U.S. for college and starting his career as an accountant.
His shooting drew widespread attention because of the strange circumstances and because it was one in a string of shootings of unarmed black men by white police officers.
Guyger was arrested three days after the killing and then fired from the Dallas Police Department. She was initially charged with manslaughter before a grand jury indicted her for murder.
She only spoke publicly about the shooting for the first time when she took to the witness stand last Friday. She tearfully apologized for killing Jean as she told the jurors she feared for her life when she fire the shot