A white former Dallas police officer this morning was indicted on a murder charge for the killing of her black unarmed neighbor when she mistook his apartment for her own and shot him dead.
Court records were posted Friday before Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson held a press conference announcing the decision of a grand jury on the fate of Amber Guyger.
Guyger was arrested on a manslaughter charge three days after the September 6 shooting that claimed the life of 26-year-old accountant Botham Jean, who was from the Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia.
The grand jury had the option of indicting Guyger on the original manslaughter count carrying up to 20 years in prison, or not indicting her at all, but in the end, they decided to indict her on the upgraded murder charge.
If convicted, Guyger could face a sentence of up to a life in prison.
At Friday’s afternoon press conference carried live by WFAA and attended by Jean’s family, District Attorney Johnson thanked the grand jury for their hard work and diligence.
When asked by reporters why the jury chose to indict Guyger for murder instead of manslaughter, Johnson said that her prosecutors had presented all the evidence based on more than 300 interviews with witnesses and fully explained the law to the jurors.
Johnson also repeatedly pointed out that it was the Texas Rangers’ call, as the agency leading the investigation into the shooting, to file the manslaughter charge at the time of Guyger’s arrest, even though she said her office believed it was a murder case ‘all along.’
Guyger told investigators she had mistakenly entered Jean’s unit, thinking it was her apartment, and thought she’d encountered an intruder. She has since been fired from the department.
Following Friday’s news conference, Jean’s parents spoke to reporters, expressing their satisfaction with the outcome of the grand jury’s vote, reported Dallas News.
‘I truly believe that she inflicted tremendous evil on my son,’ victim’s mother Allison Jean said of Guyger. ‘I look forward to the next test, which is a conviction of murder of Amber Guyger, and more so of a penalty, a proper penalty so she can reflect on what she has done.’
The ex-cop remained free on $300,000 bail. A judge on Friday ordered Guyger to surrender her passport and barred her from leaving the state without permission.
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Source: Daily Mail