Trial begins for ex-officer who shot neighbor

KNWA

Botham Jean was in his living room eating a bowl of ice cream when Amber Guyger entered his apartment by mistake

Assistant DA Jason Hermus shows a photo of Botham Jean during his opening statement before the jury during former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger”s trial in Dallas, Monday, Sept. 23, 2019. Guyger is accused of shooting Jean, her black neighbor in his Dallas apartment.(Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP, Pool)

Trial begins for former officer who shot neighbor

DALLAS (AP) — Opening statements began in the murder trial of a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man in his Dallas apartment

Amber Guyger arrived at a Dallas court Monday morning, where she will stand trial for the killing of 26-year-old Botham Jean last year.

Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, center, arrives for the first day of her murder trial in the 204th District Court at the Frank Crowley Courts Building in Dallas, Monday, Sept. 23, 2019. Guyger is accused of shooting her black neighbor in his Dallas apartment. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP, Pool)

Botham Jean, a native of St. Lucia, was an Arkansas resident who graduated from Harding University in 2016.

Allison Jean, right, the mother of Botham Jean and Botham’s brother Brandt Jean arrive for the murder trial of former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger in Dallas, Monday, Sept. 23, 2019. Guyger is on trial for shooting and killing her unarmed neighbor Botham Jean. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

The case has attracted intense national scrutiny for its strange circumstances and as one in a chain of shootings of black men by white police officers. Guyger was fired after Jean’s death.

Lawyers for Guyger are likely to argue she fired in self-defense based on the mistaken belief that she was in her own apartment and Jean was a burglar.

A jury will decide whether 31-year-old Guyger committed murder, a lesser offense such as manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide, or no crime at all.

Judge Tammy Kemp is visibility upset about the defense presentation of evidence that Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot gave an interview about the trial when a gag order was in place. Fired Dallas police Officer Amber Guyger is facing a murder charge at the Frank Crowley Courts Building in Dallas, Monday, September 23, 2019. Guyger shot and killed Botham Jean, 26, an unarmed neighbor in his own apartment last year. She told police she thought his apartment was her own and that he was an intruder. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP, Pool)

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