Former Dallas police officer, Amber Guyger, was found guilty of murder on Tuesday for fatally shooting her neighbor, Botham Jean, after thinking he was an intruder when she mistakenly entered his apartment.
Guyger faces a maximum of life in prison.
The jury was tasked with deciding whether or not Guyger, 31, acted reasonably when she used deadly force, and if the prosecution had proven beyond a reasonable doubt that she intentionally killed Jean or it a lesser charge of manslaughter was warranted.
Guyger was off-duty, but in uniform, when she shot twice Jean on Sept 6, 2018 striking him in the chest. She lived on the third floor, and Jean, a 26-year-old accountant and native of the island nation of St. Lucia, lived directly above her. The two did not know each other.
Prosecutors said Jean was watching television and eating ice cream in his living room when Guyger burst inside, likely scaring him. The trajectory of the bullet showed that he was either getting up from his couch or cowering when Guyger fired her service weapon.
Testifying in her own defense last week, Guyger told jurors that she was scared for her life when she entered an apartment that she thought was hers and the man inside began coming toward her yelling, “Hey! Hey! Hey!”
Guyger said, “I never wanted to take an innocent person’s life. I’m so sorry. This not about hate, it’s about being scared.”
Guyger admitted to giving Jean minimal lifesaving aid because she had only one hand free while she called 911 and her state of mind was frantic.
Guyger, who was on the Dallas police force for more than four years, was fired from her job following the shooting. Toxicology results presented at trial showed she was not intoxicated during the shooting.
The defense brought on other tenants from the same apartment complex who testified that they had parked on a different floor and gone to the wrong unit by mistake.
Prosecutors said Guyger was at fault for missing several clues that she was on the wrong floor and went to the wrong apartment, including a red doormat that Jean's apartment had and hers did not.