On Wednesday (Oct. 2), a Texas jury gave former police officer, Amber Guyger, a 10-year prison sentence for the fatal shooting of Botham Jean in his Dallas apartment.
After Guyger was convicted of murder, the jury went back and forth on whether or not the former cop acted reasonably. Throughout the trial, statements were made from many including Jean’s and Guyger’s family members. Alexis Stossel, who was close friends with Jean, stated that Jean’s passing isn’t easy for her.
“Next to my husband, Botham was my absolute person,” Stossel said. “I love you, but this man is going to be in my life forever, and he’s going to be a part of us forever.”
Speaking on her daughter’s behalf, Karen Guyger, reasoned to the jury that Amber had faced tough times throughout her life. The 66-year-old cited Amber’s sexual assault history. “I was going back to the bedroom. I was fixing to take a shower and I forgot my comb. And that’s when I saw him coming down out the bedroom and then Amber came out,” she said.
Ultimately, an attorney for the Jean family, Lee Merritt, stated that Guyger’s conviction is a step in the right direction. “It’s a signal that the tide is going to change here,” Merritt told reporters. “Police officers are going to be held accountable for their actions, and we believe this is going to change the policing culture all over the world.”
Following the shooting that took place in September of 2018, Guyger was charged with manslaughter, but a grand jury later indicted her for murder. “I hate that I have to live with this every single day of my life,” Guyger said on Friday (Sept. 27). “I ask God for forgiveness, and I hate myself every single day. I wish he was the one with the gun who had killed me. I never wanted to take an innocent person’s life.”
Although the situation is upsetting, Jean’s brother, Brandt Jean, stated that he has no ill feelings towards Guyger. “I love you as a person and I don’t want to wish anything bad on you,” Jean said before hugging her.