Prosecutors and defense attorneys have started the process of picking jurors Friday, in the murder trial of Botham Jean, a Black man who was shot by by white off-duty cop Amber Guyger in 2018.
The jury selection is scheduled on the one-year anniversary of Jean’s death, who was fatally wounded in his own apartment. At the time of shooting, Guyger lived one floor below Jean in a Dallas residential complex.
At the time Guyger, 31, was off duty, but dressed in uniform, when she shot the 26-year-old tenant. According to Guyger’s testimony, she was returning home from work and said she mistook the late accountant’s apartment for that of her own, thus mistaking Jean for an intruder, who she believed to be was in her apartment.
Upon Jean’s death, Guyger called 911 following the shooting, to say, “I thought it was my apartment,” according to a recording obtained by WFAA. Due to the nature of Jean’s death, many have cited racial implications in the shooting. Guyger was fired from the Dallas Police Department last November, and indicted on a murder charge. If convicted, she currently faces up to life in prison. The murder trial is scheduled to commence Sept. 23.
Dallas station WFAA reports defense attorneys for Guyger have filed a motion requesting the trial be moved out of Dallas due to the negative news coverage of the case.
Jurors will likely be given questionnaires, and undergo a number of questions-and-answers, to see if they qualify to partake in jury service in Dallas County. State District Judge Tammy Kemp said she will not consider the request to move the trial until after it has been shown that a fair and impartial jury cannot be seated.