Amber Gugyer, a former Dallas police officer, was convicted of murder for shooting and killing Botham Jean while he was sitting in his own apartment. What made the case unusual was that Gugyer believed she was in her own apartment when she was in fact in Jean’s apartment.
Guyger wass sentenced to ten years in prison. She is eligible for parole in five years. During the sentencing hearing, Jean and Guyger gave each other a tearful hug.
September 6th, 2018
Guyger was returning from a long shift on the force. She suspected someone was in “her” apartment due to sounds coming from the unit. Her defense claims she was afraid for her life when she opened the door and witnessed Jean on the sofa. Guyger stated she demanded Jean show her his hands. When Jean took a step toward her and did not comply she fired two fatal shots. Guyger’s criminal defense team claimed self-defense.
The prosecution states Guyger should not have entered the apartment if she believed a burglar to be present. She should have done what she was trained to do as a police officer, which was call for back-up and await assistance. They claimed Guyger, who was having an affair with a colleague and married man, was distracted and negligent.
Before reaching a verdict the jury asked for the legal term, manslaughter, to be explained. The legal term manslaughter means the death of an individual is not premeditated by the defendant. They also inquired about the castle doctrine which means an individual is entitled to use lethal force to defend their residence. Judge Tammy Kemp ruled the jury could consider the castle doctrine in the case. Guyger was found guilty of murder by the jury after 6 hours of deliberation.
Jean’s civil right’s attorney, S. Lee Merritt, states the verdict is a victory not just for his client’s family, but for all African Americans. The guilty verdict comes after many different cases of cops murdering young black men end with the cops getting off.
ArborYpsi Law Takeaways
This is a tragic case. At first glance the story seemed to follow in the mold of other police shootings of black males. Many people think Guyger’s sentence is too lenient. However, this case was not exactly the same. You couldn’t make up this story if you tried. It’s tragic all the way around.
Sam Bernstein is a criminal attorney in the Ann Arbor area.
ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave. Ann Arbor, MI 48108.
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If you have been charged with a felony or misdemeanor call lawyer Sam Bernstein. Misdemeanor and felony charges can greatly impact your life. Guilty verdicts can affect your employment, driver’s license, and even result in possible jail or prison time. Do not risk getting a permanent charge on your record. Call ArborYpsi Law. We have the experience. We will get you results so you can move on with your life.