Amber Guyger, a former Dallas police officer, has been indicted by a Dallas County grand jury on a murder charge in the killing of Botham Jean.
Guyger fatally shot Jean, a 26-year-old Black man, her neighbor, after entering his apartment in September. She turned herself in and was arrested on Sept. 9 — three days after the shooting took place — and was charged with manslaughter. Guyger then was released on a $300,000 bond in roughly an hour.
The grand jury began hearing evidence in the case on Monday. They were tasked to decide what charge Guyger would face or even if she would be indicted.
Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson said, in a press conference, on Friday, her office considered this a murder case “all along,” and “once the grand jury heard this case, they did return an indictment for murder.”
Johnson added that it was the Texas Rangers who made the initial decision to file it as a manslaughter charge.
On the day of the shooting, Dallas police said Guyger said she mistook Jean’s apartment as hers at around 10 p.m. when returning home from work. Court documents have varied on the story of how she got Jean’s door open.
Her arrest warrant says that Guyger reports drawing her gun when she saw a figure in the dark apartment, giving verbal commands, which were ignored, and then firing two shots. But witnesses said that they heard sounds and talking, which contradict that report.
“They heard knocking down the hallway followed by a woman’s voice that they believe to be officer Guyger saying, ‘Let me in. Let me in,'” attorney Lee Merritt said.
Only after public backlash and protests, the police department in late September fired Guyger. In October, the Jean family filed a federal lawsuit.
When Jean’s father was asked at the press conference how his family felt about the indictment, he only smiled and shook his head up and down, according to the Star-Telegram’s Nichole Manna.
It could take more than a year before Guyger goes in front of a jury.
Reader Question: Do you agree with the Dallas County grand jury’s decision