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Dallas officer convicted of neighbor’s murder

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 10/01/19, 12:25 pm

A jury found a former Dallas police officer guilty of murder on Tuesday for shooting her unarmed neighbor in his apartment. Botham Jean died on Sept. 6, 2018, when Officer Amber Guyger mistakenly entered his home after finishing a long shift. She found the door ajar and suspected an intruder was in her apartment, but she had parked on the wrong level and walked into the apartment one floor above hers.

How did she defend herself in court? Guyger called the shooting a terrible but honest mistake made while she feared for her life. She apologized to Jean’s family and said she never meant to take the life of an innocent person. Prosecutors said she acted with extreme negligence because she was on the phone with her work partner, with whom she was romantically involved, just before the shooting and because she gave Jean minimal life-saving aid. The shooting raised tensions between police and African Americans in Dallas. Jean was black and Guyger is white.

Dig deeper: Listen to a Dallas Morning News podcast episode describing Jean, an immigrant from St. Lucia who worked as an accountant.

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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  • OldMike
    Posted: Wed, 10/02/2019 01:32 pm

    I don’t understand the murder charge—I thought the definition of murder required premeditation. 

    Would have thought manslaughter a more appropriate charge. I’m aware, though, that different states have different rules. 

    Nevertheless, this was a wrongful death and punishment is appropriate.