On Friday morning a Grand Jury decided to to charge former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger for murder in the killing of 26-year-old Botham Shem Jean
Guyger killed Jean in his apartment in September after claiming she thought it was her apartment
Initially Guyger was facing a charge of manslaughter which faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison
Guyger was booked into Mesquite jail at 1:03 pm on Friday and was released before 3:30 pm
After days of deliberation, a Grand Jury has charged former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger with murder for killing 26-year-old Botham Shem Jean in his apartment in September.
Jean was a 26-year-old accountant who was watching a football game in his apartment when Guyger says she thought his apartment was hers and believed he was an intruder. Guyger was in police uniform after getting off a long shift when she killed Jean. Despite being in uniform, the decision was made to treat Guyger as a civilian since her shift had ended.
On September 9, Guyger turned herself in to police and was released the same day after posting her $300,000 bond. For weeks Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall attempted to defend Guyger’s job, but finally, on September 24, she was fired from the department.
On Monday, a Grand Jury convened to decide Guyger’s future. The Grand Jury was tasked with deciding if Guyger would face no charges, face the manslaughter charge she was initially charged with, or if her charge would be upgraded to murder. While a decision was expected as early as Wednesday morning, the Grand Jury used the additional time to review evidence and hear from Jean’s family.
While charged with manslaughter, Guyger faced a maximum of 20 years in prison. Now that her charge has been upgraded to a murder she faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. Incoming Dallas District Attorney John Creuzot argued murder was a more appropriate charge. Even when law enforcement first attempted to get a manslaughter warrant they were denied after the judge said the situation they were describing sounded like a murder case.
Since the shooting of Jean, the DPD faced serious scrutiny for how they treated the situation. Guyger was not arrested until several days after killing Jean. It appears her arrest was held off until everything was set up by the police union to have her immediately bailed out of jail. To make matters worse, Hall refused to fire Guyger for several weeks after the shooting.
A search of Jean’s apartment found a small amount of marijuana. The DPD decided to only release the documents showing the marijuana on the same day as Jean’s memorial. Many believed this was a poor attempt to vilify Jean in the eyes of the public. Meanwhile, it was not said if Guyger’s apartment was searched at that time and she was allowed to move.
The decision to charge her for murder is a relief to many that believed she was receiving special treatment due to her position and saw a genuine possibility that she would not be charged at all. Following the indictment, Guyger was forced to turn in her passport and is not allowed to travel outside of Texas. Mesquite Police Lt. Stephen Biggs said Guyger turned herself into the Mesquite jail at 1:03 pm on Friday. Records do not show what time she was released, but her $200,000 bond was paid and she was released before 3:30 pm.