Former Police Officer Sentenced To 10 Years In Jail For Murdering Neighbour
An American former police officer has been sentenced to a decade behind bars for killing a man in her apartment block.
Amber Guyger was convicted of killed Botham Jean when she thought he was intruding into her apartment last year. The ex-cop testified that she believed she was in her property when she saw Jean and thought he was intending to kill her.
"I never wanted to take an innocent person's life. And I'm so sorry. This is not about hate. It's about being scared that night," she told the court.
Guyger was actually in Jean's apartment and prosecutors argued that the man was sitting on his couch, eating ice-cream when the incident unfolded. They also claimed that the Caucasian woman didn't attempt to save his life through CPR or a first-aid kit, however she did ring 911.
Prosecutors were hunting for a jail term of up to 26 years and she was, at one point, staring down the possibility of 99 years behind bars. On the flip side, the jury was even considering a lesser charge of manslaughter.
During the trial, the jury was shown text messages in which Guyger made derisive comments about working with black officers as well as having to work on Martin Luther King day.
One of the messages shown was from Martin Rivera, her former partner on the force and former lover, who texted her in March last year, saying: "Damn I was at this area with 5 different black officers !!! Not racist but damn."
Guyger responded: "Not racist but just have a different way of working and it shows."
Prosecutors said that it was 'unreasonable' for her not to have noticed that she was on the wrong floor of her apartment block and there were numerous indications that proved that.
Guyger's lawyers countered that and tried to say she just made a 'series of horrible mistakes'.
During the sentencing, an incredible act of forgiveness was shown from Botham's brother, who crossed the floor to hug Guyger.
He told her: "I love you just like anyone else, I'm not going to say I hope you rot and die just like my brother did, but I personally want the best for you.
"I wasn't going to ever say this in front of my family or anyone but I don't even want you to go to jail, I want the best for you because I know that's exactly what Botham would want ... and the best would be, give your life to Christ."
Featured Image Credit: PA