Lawyers for police officer who killed Botham Jean in his apartment wants murder trial moved to whiter, more conservative county
Last week Amber Guyger’s legal team pushed to get her trial for the killing of Botham Jean moved out of Dallas, citing media hysteria as a problem that would prevent the fired cop from receiving a fair trial.
However, The Dallas Morning News analyzed data and found that moving the murder trial to one of the five counties they are seeking, will render a whiter, more conservative jury pool, especially in Collin, Ellis, Fannin, Grayson, Kaufman and Rockwall counties.
Last September, Guyger shot and killed 26-year-old Botham Jean in his own apartment allegedly claiming she thought he was an intruder in her residence.
In their court filing, Guyger’s attorneys Robert Rogers, Toby Shook and Michael Mowla, claimed that the “publicity surrounding this case has been prejudicial and inflammatory,” The Dallas Morning News reported.
The news outlet found that the racial composition of the counties they are seeking are less diverse and more rural.
The outlet contends: “The population of Dallas County was 29 percent white in 2017, according to the state’s most recent estimates available. In Collin County, that number jumps to 58 percent — and the numbers are higher in the other five counties. Grayson and Fannin counties have the least diverse populations with white majorities of 76 percent and 78 percent, respectively.”
Guyger’s legal team doesn’t believe she can get a fair trial in Dallas with the potential jury pool who have likely already formed an opinion about the case.
The also stated that national figures such as former Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, U.S. presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke and state Sen. Royce West also caused harm when they “injected themselves into the case.”
They attorneys also argued that the media has been biased because Jean is Black and Guyger is white saying that they promoted a false racial narrative.
The trial is set for Sept. 23.