Facebook Amber Guyger is being sentenced.
Former Dallas Police officer Amber Guyger was found guilty of murdering her neighbor, Botham Jean, after thinking he was an intruder when she mistakenly entered his apartment past year. Now, a judge is passing sentence.
Guyger's lawyers have said the 31-year-old, who was sacked from the police force shortly after she killed Jean, was exhausted and scared when she heard someone inside the unit she thought was her own that night. So, if you're sitting and eating ice cream you get shot in the heart? The jurors chose murder.
Amber Guyger is charged in the September 2018 killing of Botham Jean. They argued that she really believed that she was in her home and that Jean was an intruder.
Guyger, 31, could face life in prison for the slaying. Guyger faces a possible penalty of up to 99 years in prison.
The jurors also had questions about the definition of manslaughter. "The jury's thoughtful verdict sets a powerful precedent for future cases, telling law enforcement officers that they can not hide behind the badge but instead will face justice for their wrongful actions". According to trial testimony, a mistake led to tragedy.
The jury is expected to return Tuesday afternoon for the punishment phase of the trial.
The prosecutor read the jury one of Guyger's statements: "I never want anybody to have to go through or even imagine going through what I felt that night".
"We're still dealing in America with black people being killed in some of the most arbitrary ways, driving while black, walking while black, and now we have to add living while black", civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, one of the Jean family attorneys, said at the time. He was also a recent college graduate who studied accounting and was known for his leadership on campus and his attractive singing voice in his Christian Church.
Guyger testified that she had put her key in the door and realized it was unlocked.
Prosecutors also argued that she didn't render aid or perform CPR, but Guyger said that she performed first aid on Jean. "No police officer would ever want to hurt an innocent person". Robert Rogers, Guyger's attorney, stated that Guyger's mistake was a result of exhaustion from working 40 hours in four days, from knowledge of recent burglaries in the complex, and from genuine confusion over whose apartment she was in. Prosecutors suggested he was just rising from a couch toward the back of the room when the officer shot him. Had she done that, Guyger was asked, might Jean be alive today? "Hey!" according to NBC.
In a hallway outside the courtroom, a crowd celebrated and said "black lives matter" in raised voices.
But Guyger, a white woman who had just finished a long shift at work, was on the wrong floor of the building.
Prosecutors said that the self-defense claims don't apply in this case because Jean wasn't a threat, reported The Dallas Morning News. She told police she thought his apartment was her own and that he was an intruder.
Fine said that Guyger's fears were not reasonable.
"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.