Fired Dallas police officer, Amber Guyger, waits as jury decides her future
Former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger is at home Monday tonight, sitting, waiting, and likely praying, as 12 of her peers decide her guilty or innocence in the shooting death of Botham Jean.
Before they were brought in, attorneys on both sides had to agree on exactly what’s going to be included in the instructions to the jury. It included the law around the charges, as is clearly interpreted and explained by the judge, which is written and provided to the jury to guide them in their decision making process.
State District Judge Tammy Kemp told the jury that they can consider a charge of either murder or manslaughter against the 31-year old, Guyger, who fatally shot Jean on September 6, 2018 when she entered the wrong apartment in the same building.
Both the prosecution and defense then began to passionately state their closing arguments.
“I never want anybody to ever have to go through or even imagine going through what I went through that night,” is one of the last things that Guyger said when she took the stand. The prosecution came out strong by saying that statement is plain “garbage.”
Often referring to Jean as “Bo,” the prosecution reminded the jury that Jean was sitting on the couch when he responded like a normal, reasonable person when Guyger aka “the intruder” busted into his home and that Guyger was not “reasonable” in her response to entering the wrong apartment.
“A guilty verdict in this case does not mean you hate police. This has nothing to do with politics,” explained prosecutor Jason Fine to the jurors.
Fine pointed out that Guyger should have realized that she was in the wrong apartment. Not only is she a trained professional, but a reasonable person would have seen and smelled the signs indicating that she was on the wrong floor. There was no broken door, no forced entry, and as a result, Jean actually had more right to shoot Guyger than the other way around.
The defense argued that it is up to the prosecution to prove that, beyond a reasonable doubt, Guyger was not acting in self-defense and they simply cannot do that.
“The law is not perfect. It’s tragic, but you have to follow this law,” said defense attorney Toby Shook. “It’s one of those cases where there are no winners. The evidence shows it’s just a tragedy. A horrible, horrible tragedy.”
Guyger, who was fired from her job, just weeks after the shooting, now waits to find out what will be the next phase of her life. If the jury decides that she acted in self-defense, she will be found not guilty. If the prosecution proved that she did not act in a reasonable manner, she will be found guilty of murder and sentencing will ensue.
Either way, the Jean family has lost a son, brother, cousin and best friend and will continue to morn until a decision is finally made in this case.