Former Police Officer Who Shot Black Neighbour In His Apartment Guilty Of Murder
A police officer who shot her black neighbour, claiming she believed he was an intruder in her own apartment, has been found guilty of murder, according to reports.
Amber Guyger, from Dallas, has been convicted of killing 26-year-old Botham Jean in a case which has prompted mass protests against racism and police use of excessive force.
As per the Daily Beast, Jean was said to be sitting on his couch eating ice cream at around 10pm on September 6, 2018, when 31-year-old Guyger entered his apartment and shot him twice – one bullet hitting the wall behind Jean and another fatally striking his chest.
Guyger claimed she believed she’d confused his apartment for her own and believed he was an intruder, shooting him in self-defence.
She told the dispatcher ‘I thought it was my apartment’, 19 times during the frantic 911 call which was played in court, adding, ‘I’m fucked. Oh my God. I’m sorry.’
The former police officer now faces up to 99 years in prison and is set to be sentenced on Tuesday afternoon. According to courtroom reporters, she and her mother began to cry as the verdict was read out.
During the week-long trial, prosecutors argued Guyger was ‘distracted’ by her affair with her partner and missed signs that suggested she was in the wrong apartment.
However, Guyger’s attorneys argued she was simply ‘exhausted’ after a 13-hour shift, using the ‘mistake of fact’ to defend her actions.
Dallas defense attorney Russell Wilson told The Dallas Morning News:
Mistake of fact is the same thing that you’re hearing when you hear the police say, ‘we thought he had a gun’.
The defence, which is also called on the Castle Doctrine, is a version of the ‘stand your ground’ law, which gives people the right to use force in self-protection of a person’s property.
Jurors deliberated for around five hours while they decided whether or not it was reasonable for Guyger to believe she was in her own home at the time of the shooting.
They concluded it was not, and delivered a guilty verdict to the court.
Guyger is expected to return to court on Tuesday where she will receive her sentence.
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