To Botham Jean’s parents, fatal shooting still feels ‘as if it just happened’
DALLAS — The nightmare never goes away. Almost nine months…
It was an unexpected moment in the courtroom following the sentencing of Amber Guyger Wednesday afternoon.
“I forgive you, and I know if you go to God and ask him, he will forgive you.”
During a statement to the court, Botham Jean’s younger brother, Brandt, 18, asked the judge for permission to hug Amber Guyger.
Just before the request, he offered forgiveness to the woman now convicted of murdering his brother.
“I speak for myself,” he said. “I forgive you, and I know if you go to God and ask him, he will forgive you.”
He went on to tell Guyger he loves her as a person.
“I wasn’t going to say this in front of my family or anyone, but I don’t even want you to go to jail,” he said. “I want the best for you, because I know that’s what Botham would want … and the best would be to give your life to Christ. I love you as a person, and I don’t wish anything bad on you.”
“I want the best for you, because I know that’s what Botham would want.”
He then turned to Judge Tammy Kemp and said, “I don’t know if this is possible, but can I give her a hug? Please?”
Judge Kemp said, “Yes.”
Guyger and Brandt Jean then approached each other and embraced in a long, emotional hug.
It appeared they briefly spoke to each other as they embraced.
The touching moment was followed by audible sounds of crying from those watching within the courtroom.
There had been protesting outside of the courtroom following the announcement that Guyger would serve 10 years in prison.
However, reporters on the scene say the moment between Brandt Jean and Guyger seemed to change the mood of the crowd.
Pickett (a CBS 11 reporter) said individuals reacting outside the courtroom, showing passion and anger, changed considerably as they appeared to honor and respect the voice of Jean’s younger brother.
Guyger was found guilty Tuesday of murdering Harding University graduate and Dallas West Church of Christ member Botham Jean. Wednesday, the jury recommended a 10 year sentence for Guyger.
At the end of the sentencing, the judge hugged Amber Guyger before addressing the Jean family.
The Dallas Morning News reports about the hug:
As the two women embraced, Guyger whispered in her ear. Kemp responded loud enough for the few remaining in the courtroom to hear.
“Ma’am, it’s not because I am good,” the judge said. “It’s because I believe in Christ. None of us are worthy.
Kemp told Guyger to start reading the Bible, telling her to take the one she was reading from. She turned to defense attorney Robert Rogers and told him she was bringing Guyger a study Bible on Thursday.
Allison Jean, the victim’s mother, spoke to the media following the closing of the trial. She said while she will be leaving Dallas soon, she hopes that this trial brings about positive change.
“The corruption that we saw during this process must stop, and it must stop for you,” Jean said. “Our lives must move on, but our lives must move on with change. There’s got to be a better day, and that better day starts with every one of us.”
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