Published: Tue, October 01, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Ex-Dallas officer guilty in shooting death of her neighbour

Ex-Dallas officer guilty in shooting death of her neighbour

But the jury reached the unanimous verdict in the high-profile trial after a few hours of deliberation. She admitted that she did not give him adequate CPR after the shooting because she was using one hand to hold her phone and call 911, and because she was shaken by the incident.

The verdict also defused tensions that began simmering Monday when jurors were told they could consider whether Guyger had a right to use deadly force under a Texas law known as the castle doctrine - even though she wasn't in her own home. Guyger alleged she shot Jean after thinking he was an intruder when she mistakenly entered his apartment.

Guyger, who has been out on a $300,000 bond, faces a maximum of life in prison.

The Jean family rejoices after getting the verdict.

Jean was on the couch in his shorts, watching TV and eating vanilla ice cream when Guyger walked in, prosecutors said.

Guyger's defense argued that the Castle Doctrine - which allows for self-defense in one's own home - applies in her case because she thought she was in her apartment. But she wasn't in her apartment. (Whether a jury would have been sympathetic to a young black man who shot and killed a white police officer is a question that's hard not to ask, in light of the research done on the way that race impacts the execution of these laws.) Which means that-the way that the defense is arguing the case-an intruder and a resident could both shoot at each other, if they both believe they're in their own homes, and nobody would be committing a crime. "This is insane", Fine said.

"It started hitting me that this guy, I have no idea who he is, and that's when everything just started to spin", she testified about the moment she realized she was in the wrong apartment.

CNN reports that after the verdict, multiple members of Jean's family wept and hugged prosecutors, and that Guyger's mom wept as well.

"This is a huge victory, not only for the family of Botham Jean, but this is a victory for black people in America", Mr Merritt said.

"It shouldn't take all that for unarmed black and brown people to get justice", said civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing the Jean family. She fatally shot Jean, an accountant from the Caribbean nation of St. Lucia, in September 2018. He worked as a risk assurance associate for Price Waterhouse Cooper. She had reportedly just finished a 13 1/2 hour shift at work and claimed she thought she was entering her own apartment. She was off duty, but still in uniform when she went to the door.

Guyger, who was off-duty after working a almost 14-hour shift, lived in apartment 1378 on the third floor, while Jean lived in apartment 1478 directly above her on the fourth. Emergency responders took him to a nearby hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Or were Guyger's mistakes so reckless that they constituted manslaughter, or so intentionally negligent that it amounted to murder?

Assistant District Attorney Jason Hermus shows Botham Jean's red doormat to the jury during opening statements in the murder trial of former Dallas police Officer Amber Guyger.

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