Amber Guyger tearfully told the packed courtroom at her murder trial that she was sorry for killing 26-year-old Botham Jean last September, explaining that she mistook his fourth-floor apartment for her own.
Prosecutor Jason Fine seized on her testimony - specifically, her assertion that she would never want anyone to endure what she's gone through - before attacking Guyger as an unreasonable person who made a decision to kill Jean before she opened his apartment door. Fearing it was a break-in, she drew her service weapon and stepped inside.
"I was scared whoever was inside of my apartment was going to kill me, and I'm sorry", Guyger said in a shaky voice.
Defense attorney Toby Shook said Monday that Guyger made "a series of frightful mistakes" that were entirely understandable.
This week, Texas Ranger David Armstrong testified that of the almost 300 residents that investigators interviewed at the complex, almost a quarter of those who lived in the third and fourth floors had previously put their keys in the wrong door.
"It's not a mistake". She walked to Jean's 4th-floor apartment, which was directly above hers on the 3rd floor. Amber Guyger began crying and trembling as she recalled approaching her neighbor Botham Jean's door before fatally shooting him.
According to Guyger, Jean-who had been sitting on his couch in his apartment watching television and eating ice cream-began walking swiftly toward her shouting "hey, hey, hey". Guyger should have devoted all of her attention to providing first aid to Jean, Hermus said, instead of texting her partner.
She hasn't spoken publicly since the shooting.
GOODWYN: The case will turn on whether the jury finds Amber Guyger's actions reasonable, even if they were mistaken.
She pulled out her gun and fired.
Prosecutors have also asserted that Guyger should have done more to try and help Jean after she shot him, but was more concerned about herself, repeatedly telling a 911 operator she was going to lose her job.
"You can't miss this", he said, holding it up for jurors.
Guyger is on trial for murder in connection with the death. She fired twice after telling the person she believed to be an intruder to show his or her hands, authorities said.
On cross examination, Dallas County prosecutor Jason Hermus questioned Guyger about why she never attempted to perform CPR on Jean as he lay dying, despite the fact that she was trained to administer it.
Guyger, who was kicked off the police force after she killed her neighbor, Botham Jean, told the court that she meant to kill him when she pulled the trigger, which she said is what she had been trained to do. Two months later, she was indicted by a grand jury on a murder charge.
"I wanted to help people, and that was the one career that I could help people", she said. Hermus emphasized that Guyger could have chosen to take cover rather than opening fire.
The shooting, one of a series of high-profile killings of unarmed black men and teens by white USA police, sparked street protests, particularly after prosecutors initially moved to charge Guyger with manslaughter, a charge for killing without malice that carries a lesser sentence than murder. Judge Kemp refuses to allow Armstrong to state his opinions in front of the jury, but defense attorneys say they plan to call him back to the stand as an expert witness.