A jury found an ex-Dallas police officer guilty of murder after she killed a man in his own apartment in 2018 and claimed she mistook him for someone burglarizing her own home, according to multiple reports.
During the seven-day trial, Amber Guyger, 31, told jurors during her testimony that she mistakenly walked into 26-year-old Botham Jean’s apartment on Sept. 6, 2018, and believed it was her own apartment.
“I was scared whoever was inside of my apartment was going to kill me, and I’m sorry,” Guyger testified last Friday while sobbing, reports The Dallas Morning News. “I have to live with that every single day.”
Jurors were given the option of finding Guyger guilty of manslaughter, a lesser conviction.
CNN reports that after the verdict, multiple members of Jean’s family wept and hugged prosecutors, and that Guyger’s mom wept as well.
According to testimony, Guyger had been exchanging sexual texts with her married police partner throughout the day and was on the phone with him as she drove into her apartment’s parking garage after working a 13-hour shift.
Minutes later, Guyger, who is white, walked into Botham’s apartment and shot twice, firing the fatal bullet that struck Jean, who is black, in the chest.
“It started hitting me that this guy, I have no idea who he is, and that’s when everything just started to spin,” she testified about the moment she realized she was in the wrong apartment.
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For more than a week of testimony, the prosecutor argued Guyger had multiple options for confronting a burglar instead of shooting to kill. From the beginning of the trial, Guyger’s defense attorney claimed the tragedy resulted from “a perfect storm of innocent circumstances.”
In his closing arguments on Tuesday, Guyger’s attorney Robert Rogers said she “made a series of horrible mistakes.”
Prosecutor Jason Fine told jurors she should’ve known she was in the wrong apartment. He refuted the defense team’s argument that jurors should consider the “castle doctrine,” which gives homeowner’s the right to defend their own home with lethal force.
“Who does castle doctrine protect? Homeowners,” Fine said. “It protects homeowners against intruders, and now, all of a sudden, the intruder is trying to use it against the homeowner.”
The Dallas Morning News reports jurors will resume deliberating to determine Guyger’s sentence.
It was not immediately clear if Guyger intends to appeal.