Jury finds ex-Dallas officer who killed a man in his own apartment, guilty of murder

October 3, 2019

Amber Guyger and Botham Jean

A Dallas jury on Tuesday, October 1, 2019, found former police officer Amber Guyger guilty of murder for fatally shooting her unarmed neighbor, Botham Jean, in his own apartment, which she said she mistook as her own.

The jury deliberated less than 24 hours. The verdict followed a trial that captured national attention and sparked outrage.

Judge Tammy Kemp asked Guyger and her lawyers to stand as she delivered the verdict.

“We, the jury, unanimously find the defendant, Amber Guyger, guilty of murder as charged in the indictment,” Kemp read, as a shriek and hand clap could be heard.

Guyger, who is white, testified that after working long hours on Sept. 6, 2018, she returned to her Dallas apartment complex and approached what she thought was her apartment.

She noticed the door was partially open and pulled out her service weapon and shot a figure inside in the dark. It turned out she was at the apartment directly above hers — which belonged to Jean, a 26-year-old black accountant, who Guyger thought was an intruder.

That’s when she saw a silhouette and demanded to see his hands, she said. The person started approaching in a “fast-paced walk,” she added, and she fired two shots at what she believed to be an intruder.

One of the bullets struck and killed Jean. Prosecutors said he had been relaxing in his apartment with a fresh bowl of ice cream shortly before the incident around 10 p.m. CT.

The jury, which is largely made up of women and people of color, reconvened Tuesday afternoon to begin weighing a punishment for Guyger. She faces anywhere from 5-99 years in prison.

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