It was the case that captivated the attention of the entire United States. In September of last year, former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was heading home from a long day at work. After parking on the wrong floor of her apartment building, she then walked to an apartment that wasn’t hers and, supposedly believing that it was hers, opened the unlocked door. Botham Jean, her downstairs neighbor, was inside his apartment eating ice cream when Guyger interrupted — and shot him dead. Guyger maintains that this was an accident. She claims that she believed she was walking into her own apartment when she was startled by the sight of Jean and believed him to be an intruder.
Over a year after the incident occurred, Guyger finally had her day in court this month. Although many legal experts were unsure of whether or not Guyger would take the stand in her own defense, she did. Throughout the case, a lot of background context was provided for jurors — and many of the details were not good for Guyger’s case. It was revealed that she was distracted by a romantic relationship on the day of Botham’s death, texting and calling her former police partner several times. It is, in fact, believed that Guyger may have been on the phone with her lover when she parked on the wrong floor.
During the closing arguments of the case, prosecutor Jason Fine delivered a very persuasive speech in support of slapping Guyger with a murder charge. Throughout his final communication with jurors, Fine discussed reasonable and unreasonable decisions with them. He pointed out how the victim had a prominent red mat in front of his apartment. Also, Guyger’s key did not fit into the lock. Unfortunately for Jean, his door was unlocked at the time Guyger chose to enter the apartment. Early in the week, the judge instructed the jury that they could use the Castle Doctrine — a law similar to Florida’s Stand Your Ground law — and those following the case erupted online. In the end, however, Guyger was found guilty by the jury on Monday.