A former Texas policewoman was convicted of murder Tuesday for shooting dead a neighbor in his own home in what her lawyer said was a “tragic mistake.”
Guyger, who worked in Dallas, claimed that she believed she had returned to her own apartment on September 6, 2018 and that she thought Botham Jean, 26, was an intruder.
In fact, the 31-year-old had entered Jean’s unlocked apartment, located in the same building but one floor above hers.
“We the jury unanimously find the defendant, Amber Guyger, guilty of murder as charged in the indictment,” the jury foreman announced.
After the verdict was read, Jean’s mother, Allison Jean, stood and looked upward as she celebrated the decision, raising her arms high and wide.
“I cannot sleep, I cannot eat, it’s just been the most terrible time for me,” she later told the jury that will decide on Guyger’s sentence.
“I try to busy myself to try to get this out of my head. It is very difficult.”
The jury, which retired on Monday, deliberated for five hours before delivering its guilty verdict.
Guyger, who was off duty after a nearly 14-hour shift, lived in apartment 1378 on the third floor, while Jean lived in apartment 1478 directly above her.
“She knows she’s made a tragic mistake, but it’s not out of evil,” Guyger’s lawyer, Robert Rogers, told the court when the trial opened, describing it as human error and an act of self-defense.
Guyger a police officer for four years until her sacking following the shooting sobbed when she took the stand last week.