On Tuesday morning, a Dallas jury found former police officer, Amber Guyger guilty of murder after just one day of deliberation, as reported by CNN. Guyger walked into the apartment of Botham Jean in September of 2018 and fatally shot the innocent 26 year old man, who worked as an accountant. Guyger claimed that she thought Jean’s apartment was her own, so she really killed him in self defense. She was initially charged with manslaughter, and then with murder, as well.
Among the most interesting facts that came to light in the trial was the possible sexual relationship between Guyger and Jean. Of course, if they had been involved previously, the killing would appear more like an intentional murder and less like a true accident to the jury. Furthermore, Guyger was reportedly sexually involved with her married work partner at the time she killed Jean. According to the video footage, Guyger did not render aide to the victim once she shot him; she left the apartment and called police to cover herself and she texted her work/sexual partner.
As reported by Fox, “Texas Ranger David Armstrong, the lead investigator of the case, said in court last week — while the jury was not in the room — that he believed Guyger’s actions were reasonable and that she did not commit murder, nor manslaughter or criminally negligent manslaughter.”
The judge reportedly allowed Guyger’s lawyer to use the ‘castle doctrine’ defense, which protects people who use lethal force in a shooting that results from a person breaking into their home. Guyger was not in her own home, but the judge seemingly believed that Guyger truly believed that she was in her own home, so she was right to shoot the actual resident of the apartment.
On Tuesday morning, the jury returned with a verdict of guilty for the murder charge. Conviction could carry a sentence of ‘up to life in prison’. The judge can determine the sentence, so it will likely be a much lighter sentence, though. We will update this story as it unfolds.
Guyger has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. She will be eligible for parole after 5 years, seemingly.