Friday 14 August, 2020

Amber Guyger sentenced to 10 years in prison for Botham Jean's murder

Amber Guyger

Amber Guyger

A white Dallas police officer has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for fatally shooting her unarmed, black neighbour in his home.

The jury sentenced Amber Guyger on Wednesday. Guyger was convicted of murder Tuesday in the September 2018 killing of her upstairs neighbour, Botham Jean.

Guyger didn’t appear to show much reaction, at least from the angle of a live camera stream, as the judge read the jury’s sentence. 

Related Article

Guyger’s sentence was met with boos and jeers by a crowd gathered outside the courtroom. “It’s a slap in the face,” one woman said.

In Texas, a murder sentence can range from five years to life in prison, but the judge also instructed jurors on a so-called sudden passion defence, which carries a range of 2-20 years behind bars.

Guyger was still dressed in her police uniform after a long shift when she shot Jean, a 26-year-old accountant from the Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia. She was fired from the force and charged with murder.

Guyger testified that she mistook Jean’s apartment for her own, which was one floor below, and that she thought he was a burglar in her home.

During closing arguments Wednesday, the prosecutor said Guyger deserved no less than 28 years, which she said is how old Jean would be if he was still alive. After the jury began deliberating, lawyers for the Jean family told reporters that a 28-year sentence would be a good start.

Guyger’s attorney, meanwhile, asked jurors to show mercy, pointing to the good she did for people, including some who spoke at the hearing.

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: