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Jury had found Former Dallas Police officer 30-year-old Amber R. Guyger guilty of murder on Tuesday for fatally shooting her unarmed neighbor, 26-year-old Botham Shem Jean on September 6, 2018.
"I never wanted to take an innocent person's life. I'm so sorry" Guyger, former four-year-veteran of the Dallas Police Department said on the stand "This is not about hate -- it's about being scared."
Ms. Guyger claimed to the jury that she thought that she was walking into her own apartment and acted in self-defense against an intruder. Guyger, in full uniform, took out her service weapon and fired shots at the subject in a dark apartment instantly killing Jean. She discovered that she was in the wrong apartment, on the wrong floor as her actual apartment dwelling was above hers. The affidavit was that Guyger inserted her key and the door was partially ajar but opened fully when the force of the key was inserted.
Guyger said that she gave Jean minimal lifesaving aid because she was on the phone with 911 and that she had a "frantic state of mind." Jean was shot twice, in the chest and abdomen according to the Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office.
During trial, jury had rejected an argument and returned a rare murder conviction against a police officer. Evidence also showed that Jeans apartment had a red doormat and hers did not. A toxicology test was performed and the results returned Guyger was not intoxicated during the shooting. Another set of evidence used during the trial, was that she intended to see her partner later and earlier claimed that she was fatigued. The jury ruled out the fatigue as she sent explicit text messages to her work partner just before the shooting.
The shooting had caused an aftermath of protests that were demonstrated outside of the police headquarters and city hall. This occurred during a time when police officers were cleared of any wrongdoing in the deaths of unarmed black men. Days later after the shooting, Guyger was arrested on a charge of manslaughter and then released from jail the same day.
Dallas Police let go of Guyger due to being expected to be charged with manslaughter and a investigation by the Texas Rangers.
Weeks had passed by and the community along with tensions and accusations of preferential treatment for police officers, the grand jury had returned with the verdict that Guyger was guilty of murder.
Guyger will serve a prison sentence between five to 99 years behind bars.