Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger is on trial for murder after she fatally shot Botham Shem Jean on September 6, 2018. Now, a judge is passing sentence. Guyger entered Jean's apartment, believing it was her own, and twice pulled the trigger with the intent to kill him. If you walk into "your" apartment, and you see a man eating ice cream and watching TV on the couch, AND you somehow don't notice that it is NOT YOUR television or couch or ice cream, BUT the brother is still sitting down, you have a moment to "meditate" on your surroundings. She used her service weapon to shoot him. She was initially charged with manslaughter before a grand jury indicted her for murder. The jurors chose murder.
"For Amber Guyger, Mr. Jean was dead before that door ever opened", said Jason Hermus, the lead prosecutor.
Guyger, who spent four years on the force before the killing, faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison for the slaying. On its face, it seems absurd: Guyger was the trespasser and Jean was the person whose property was being trespassed upon.
The jury light came on again about 10 a.m., indicating jurors have another question or note, but no one has yet announced what that was. From the beginning of the trial, Guyger's defense attorney claimed the tragedy resulted from "a ideal storm of innocent circumstances".
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The jury got the case Monday afternoon, following about a week of testimony. Tearfully Guyger said she didn't want to kill Jean but acted out of fear.
Or were Guyger's mistakes so reckless that they constituted manslaughter, or so intentionally negligent that it amounted to murder?
Cheers could be heard in the Dallas County, Texas, court after the verdict was read. He was also a recent college graduate who studied accounting and was known for his leadership on campus and his lovely singing voice in his Christian Church.
The defense said prosecutors didn't do anything to prove Guyger's actions weren't a mistake.
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"I ask God for forgiveness, and I hate myself every single day", Guyger said before the jury last week, her voice shaking. "I never wanted to take an innocent person's life", she added. Her apartment, in fact, was on the third floor. He was likely startled when she burst into his apartment and was either getting up from the sofa or "cowering" when Guyger shot him, prosecutors argued. Allison Jean spoke fondly of her son's academic and extracurricular accomplishments as well as his commitment to his church. "Hey!" according to NBC.
Jurors delivered the guilty verdict after five hours of deliberation. He alleged that Guyger should have known that she was entering the wrong apartment.
Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. Fine said. "This has to do with that defendant making unreasonable decisions that put her in that seat and Bo in the ground", Fine said as he pointed at the defendant.
"When you aimed and pulled the trigger at Mr. Jean, shooting him in center mass exactly where you are trained, you meant to kill Mr. Jean", Hermus said. Cheers erupted in the courthouse hallway as prosecutors left.
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"There was no other floor mat like this is the entire building". When the prosecutors walked into the hall, they broke into cheers.