A man hugged and offered forgiveness to ex-Officer Amber Guyger after a Dallas jury sentenced her to 10 years in prison Wednesday for killing his brother.
Amber Guyger, a white 31-year-old, shot and killed her neighbor Botham Shem Jean, who was black, in his Texas apartment while she was off duty in September 2018. She said she mistook him for an intruder in her apartment.
Jean’s brother Brandt Jean, 18, took the stand and told the former Dallas Police Department officer, “I don’t even want you to go to jail. I want the best for you, because I know that’s exactly what Botham would want,” adding, “I love you like anyone else,” before embracing her in a hug, The Dallas Morning News reported.
Botham Jean would have been 28 years old Sunday, according to Dallas News.
The jury found Guyger guilty Tuesday after deliberating for less than 24 hours based on the definition of manslaughter and the castle doctrine, which asserts a person can reasonably use deadly force to protect himself or herself at home, CNN reported. (RELATED: Opinion: What Happened In Dallas May Point To Bigger Issues, But Not The Ones You’d Expect)
BREAKING: In stunning moment, Botham Jean’s brother embraces Amber Guyger after her sentencing for his brother’s murder.
“I don’t even want you to go to jail. I want the best for you, because I know that’s exactly what Botham would want.” https://t.co/sWaPUtS0kj pic.twitter.com/xPAIKQLh6z
— ABC News (@ABC) October 2, 2019
After her Tuesday conviction, prosecutors released text messages from Guyger making offensive statements, including jokes about civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr.’s death and mocking statements about her black colleagues, The Washington Post reported. She had been facing between five and 99 years in prison.
In one exchange, Guyger’s friend warned her of a dog that “may be racist,” to which she replied, “It’s okay … I’m the same,” adding a minute later, “I hate everything and everyone but y’all.” Guyger’s attorneys, however, said the texts only represented a “snapshot” of her life, according to WaPo.
Guyger’s friends and family said she had dreamed of working in law enforcement ever since overcoming a childhood sexual assault. “For her, that was all she ever wanted, all she ever dreamed of,” Dallas police Officer Cathy Odhiabo said, WaPo reported.
Guyger’s 66-year-old mother, Karen Guyger, said her daughter wished to take Botham Jean’s place after he died and that she had called her crying so hard after the incident that her words were difficult to understand, according to WaPo.
His father, Bertram Jean, said his late son “tried his best to live a good, honest life” before the court, adding, “He loved God; he loved everyone. How could this have happened to him?”
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