Amber Guyger Gets 10-year Murder Sentence for Fatally Shooting Botham Jean
CNN, Oct. 3, 2019
(CNN)Amber Guyger, the former Dallas police officer who killed Botham Jean in his apartment last year, is heading to prison to begin a 10-year sentence. She will first be eligible for parole in five years.
“Of course that’s inadequate. The entire justice system is inadequate and the work must continue,” S. Lee Merritt, an attorney who represents Jean’s family, wrote on Twitter.
Dallas District Attorney John Creuzot said that his office is very pleased with the verdict and sentence.
When asked if his office was concerned about the 10-year sentence, Creuzot said that, though he personally expected a longer sentence, he respected the jury’s decision.
“We’re going to move on and Botham’s family is moving on,” he said.
The jury has convicted Amber Guyger of ten years. Of course that’s inadequate. The entire justice system is inadequate and the work must continue. pic.twitter.com/NACo3lyO4G
— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) October 2, 2019
The final day of the murder trial included a stunning moment in which Jean’s younger brother, Brandt, told Guyger during his victim impact statement that he forgave her, and gave her a long hug before she was taken to prison.
Just after that, District Judge Tammy Kemp apparently gave Guyger a Bible and also hugged her.
“You can have mine. I have three or four more at home,” the judge said. “This is the one I use every day. This is your job for the next month. It says right here. John 3:16. And this is where you start. ‘For God so loved the world…’
Jean’s mother, Allison, didn’t react to the sentence, other than to tell reporters outside the courtroom the 10 years will give Guyger time to reflect and to change her life.
Jurors on Tuesday had found Guyger, 31, guilty of murder for fatally shooting Jean in his Dallas apartment in 2018. She had faced between five years and 99 years for the shooting.
Allison Jean told reporters that the trial exposed corruption in the city’s police department.
Allison Jean said the crime scene was contaminated.
“The city of Dallas needs to clean up inside. The Dallas Police Department has a lot of laundry to do,” she said.
As for the sentence, she said Guyger needs to reflect and change her life. She said the former officer was either trained poorly or applied her training incorrectly.”That should never, ever happen again,” she said. “If Amber Guyger was trained not to shoot in the heart, my son would be standing here today.
Police Chief Renee Hall, who was not asked about Jean’s statements, said at her own news conference that the department will launch an internal investigation over police actions described by witnesses during the trial.
“The testimony that came out in this trial is not reflective of the men and women of the Dallas Police Department,” Hall said. “I stand before you today fully committed to making the changes that need to be made.
Five hours after Guyger was sentenced, a small group of protesters were marching in the streets of Dallas, according to aerial images broadcast by CNN affiliate KTVT. The demonstrators were upset by a sentence they saw as too light.
‘Botham was my absolute person’
Wednesday’s sentencing hearing began with testimony from Jean’s close friend who shared stories of his love for sports and God. She wept over a text message she never sent to him.
Alexis Stossel met Jean her junior year at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. They became best friends after they were appointed to sit on a business school advisory board, she testified.