Amber Guyger Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Slaying of Neighbor Botham Jean

Fired Dallas police officer Amber Guyger becomes emotional as she testifies in her murder trial, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, in Dallas. Guyger is accused of shooting and killing Botham Jean, an unarmed 26-year-old neighbor in his own apartment last year. She told police she thought his apartment was her own …
Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP, Pool

DALLAS — (AP) A white Dallas police officer has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for fatally shooting her unarmed, black neighbor in his home.

The jury sentenced Amber Guyger on Wednesday. Guyger was convicted of murder Tuesday in the September 2018 killing of her upstairs neighbor, Botham Jean.

In Texas, a murder sentence can range from five years to life in prison, but the judge also instructed jurors on a so-called sudden passion defense, which carries a range of 2-20 years behind bars.

Guyger was still dressed in her police uniform after a long shift when she shot Jean, a 26-year-old accountant from the Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia. She was fired from the force and charged with murder.

Guyger testified that she mistook Jean’s apartment for her own, which was one floor below, and that she thought he was a burglar in her home.

The sentence was met with boos and jeers from people in the hallway outside the courtroom.

As Jean’s family walked out of the courtroom after the hearing, the group in the hallway began a chant of, “No justice! No peace!” Two black women hugged each other and cried.

Sheriff’s deputies cleared the hallway outside the courtroom before more officers escorted Guyger’s family out and down a side staircase.

Guyger said she mistook Jean’s apartment for her own, which was one floor below his, and mistook him for a burglar.


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