Update – October 1, 12:16 p.m.: Guyger was found guilty. You can learn more here. Sentencing is set for 2 p.m. today.
There’s no dispute that then-Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, 31, fatally shot neighbor Botham Shem Jean, 26, in his apartment on September 6, 2018. The question is whether that constitutes murder under Texas law. You can watch the trial in the player above.
The defendant was originally arrested on a manslaughter charge but later indicted for murder. According to an affidavit, Guyger was returning home from a work shift. She was still in uniform when she parked on the fourth-floor garage at the South Side Flats Apartments.
She made her way to apartment 1478, inserted her electronic door key, and the door–which was slightly ajar before her arrival–opened, cops said.
The thing is, she actually lived one floor below, in 1378.
Her entrance alerted Jean to her presence, cops said. In their account, Guyger said she believed he was a burglar. She pulled out her gun and gave him verbal commands. She claimed he ignored her. Guyger fired twice, hitting him once in the torso.
The apartment was dark, so she turned on the lights while she was on the phone with 911. It was then that she checked the front door to see the address. According to cops, she told the responding officers and 911 operator she originally thought this was her apartment.
“Guyger believed she was in her apartment and confronted by a burglar when she fired her handgun, striking and killing him,” cops wrote.
You can listen to the 911 call here:
“I’m an off-duty officer,” said Guyger. “I thought I was in my apartment, and I shot a guy thinking that he was–thinking it was my apartment.”
[Mugshot via Kaufman County Jail]