Skip to main content

Watch: Amber Guyger Sentencing Hearing in the Murder of Botham Shem Jean


Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, 31, is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday afternoon in the murder of Botham Shem Jean, 26. Jurors found her guilty in the morning. Court is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. CT.

Defendant and victim lived at the same apartment complex, but on different floors. According to trial testimony, a mistake led to tragedy. Guyger said she accidentally parked on the fourth floor although she lived on the third. She approached Jean’s apartment believing it was hers and opened the door. (His door had not been secured.) Guyger said she believed that Jean was an intruder in her apartment, and she was in fear for her life. She shot twice, hitting him once in his heart.

Prosecutors argued that Guyger’s mistakes leading up to the incident were unreasonable and that she was more worried about herself than with the dying Jean after she realized her mistake.

The defense tried to show that her errors were reasonable under the law and that much of the state’s evidence wasn’t relevant to the moment in question but instead meant to get the jury angry at their client. They argued that she really believed that she was in her home and that Jean was an intruder. The incident, while tragic, wasn’t a crime under Texas law, they argued.

Jurors sided with the prosecution.

The jury had the option to find Guyger guilty of the lesser-included charge of manslaughter, but chose to convict her as charged. Prosecutor Jason Fine argued that murder was the appropriate charge because the defendant admitted on the stand that she intended on killing when she fired the shot.

[Image via Kaufman County Jail]

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow Law&Crime: