Trial for officer accused of killing Botham Jean begins in Dallas
He was doing no harm, "which was his life." That's…
Fear, not hate, led Amber Guyger to kill Botham Jean, said the former Dallas police officer during an emotional morning of testimony.
“I feel like a terrible person,” Guyger said during day five of her murder trial. “I hate that I have to live with this every single day of my life. And I ask God for forgiveness and I hate myself every single day.”
Guyger is charged with murder for killing Jean, a Harding University graduate and member of the Dallas West Church of Christ, on Sept. 6, 2018, when she entered his apartment.
In court, the defense team argued that Guyger entered Jean’s apartment by mistake, thinking it was her own and fearing Jean was a burglar.
Friday morning, on the stand, Guyger became very emotional. Through her tears she looked at the courtroom, including the family of Botham Jean, and testified that she thought “whoever was in my apartment was going to kill me. And I’m sorry. I have to live with that every single day that I hurt …”
She was cut off by an attorney, but would go on to say she would never have wanted to hurt an innocent person.
“This is not about hate. It’s about being scared that night,” she said.
On the witness stand, Guyger acknowledged to lead prosecutor Jason Hermus that her intention was to kill Jean.
The The Dallas Morning News reports:
“When you aimed and pulled the trigger at Mr. Jean, shooting him in center mass right where you are trained, you intended to kill Mr. Jean?” (Hermus) asked.
“I did,” she said.
Intent is a crucial element for prosecutors to establish because it’s what sets apart murder from a reckless act like manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide. …
Hermus, during cross-examination, suggested Guyger had other options besides shooting Jean, like calling for backup. He also noted that no South Side Flats neighbors who took the stand during the trial heard the loud commands she said she made.
“I can’t tell you why,” Guyger said.
“It’s because you didn’t say it,” Hermus retorted.
“That’s not true,” she said.
The trial began Monday and is expected to last about two weeks.
Find more coverage of the trial at dallasnews.com.
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