Murder charge for Botham Jean's killer

Murder charge for Botham Jean's killer

Murder charge for Botham Jean's killer

A grand jury began hearing evidence Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, in the case of Guyger, a former Dallas police officer who fatally shot her unarmed black neighbor in his own apartment after she said she mistook it for hers on September 6, 2018.

Amber Guyger was initially charged with manslaughter in the September 6 shooting that left 26-year-old Botham Jean dead.

Sgt. Michael Mata, president of Dallas' largest police union, the Dallas Police Association, said Guyger was a respected officer and well known to investigative units in the department because she worked on a high-risk team tasked with arresting some of the most violent offenders.

Guyger told investigators that she had just ended a 15-hour shift Thursday when she returned in uniform to the South Side Flats apartment complex.

The officer told police that she concluded her apartment was being burglarized and gave verbal commands to the figure, which ignored them. She put her key in the lock, and the door, which was slightly ajar, opened. Guyger claims she entered the wrong apartment and shot the man she saw in there.

Dallas' police chief says all personnel in her department continue to feel "anguish" over the fatal shooting of a 26-year-old black man inside his own apartment by a white off-duty officer. Johnson also said her office interviewed 300 witnesses.

Guyger was sacked on September 24.

Following her arrest, Guyger, a five-year veteran of the department, was fired, the New York Times reports.

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"When you look at the facts of this case, we thought that it was murder all along", Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson said.

Dallas County District Attorney Johnson said at a press conference on November 30 that a grand jury returned the murder charge after they presented evidence, and explained the law.

The district attorney's office made sure its investigative efforts were thorough "so we would know all the pieces of evidence we need to take before the grand jury", Johnson said.

Johnson, who was voted out of office in the November 6 election, will not see the case through to a trial and said Friday that she "trusts the DA-elect will continue to represent this family (and all of Dallas County) as he seeks justice for victims".

Attorneys for Jean's family said the affidavit contradicts neighbors' accounts of what happened.

Jean's father, Bertram, said, "We are hurting deeply, but we take some comfort at this time with the decision that the grand jury reached". Critics, including Jean's family, also wondered why it took three days for Guyger to be charged, why she wasn't taken into custody immediately after the shooting and whether race played a factor in her decision to use deadly force. The lawsuit said Guyger did not give emergency aid to Jean following the gunfire.

District Attorney Faith Johnson told reporters her office "did a thorough job of presenting" the case.

Botham Jean, a native of the Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia, graduated in accounting and management information systems at Harding University's Arkansas campus in 2016, and had been interning at PricewaterhouseCoopers when killed. She described it as a "tragic event" and asked people to pray for Jean's family.

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