Fired Dallas police officer Amber Guyger becomes emotional as she testifies in her murder trial, Sept. 27, 2019, in Dallas.
A Texas jury began deliberations in the apartment-mixup murder case of former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger on Monday after prosecutors told them in their closing argument that she made a series of “unreasonable decisions” that cost an innocent man his life. Defense attorneys countered that she made “reasonable” mistakes that led her to believe her life was in jeopardy.
Before the closing arguments in the high-profile case commenced, Dallas County District Court Judge Tammy Kemp gave the jury a series of instructions, including giving the panel the option of weighing whether Guyger committed murder or manslaughter when she mistakenly entered the apartment of her neighbor, Botham Jean, and fatally shot him believing he was an intruder.
“For almost 13 months, the family of Botham Jean has been waiting for justice,” Ben Crump, the lawyer for Jean’s family, said in a statement. “Today, with the case in the jury’s hands, we pray for a just verdict and a peaceful response in the community.”
Shortly after the defense rested its case, Dallas County Assistant District attorney Jason Fine stood before jurors and asked them to reject Guyer’s “crazy” contention that she shot the 26-year-old Jean in self-defense because she believed she was in her own apartment and that the victim, who was sitting on his couch eating ice cream, was going to kill her.
Fine began by reading from a piece of paper an excerpt from Guyger’s testimony last week, in which she said, “I never want anybody to have to go through or even imagine going through what I felt that night.”