Amber Guyger was a former Dallas Police Department patrol officer who, in September 2018, entered the apartment of accountant Botham Jean while she was off duty and shot and killed him. Ahead of Investigation Discovery’s season two premiere of Impact of Murder, which examines the case and its aftermath, here’s what you need to know about Guyger’s trial and where she is today.
Jean’s Brother Brandt Hugged Guyger After Her Conviction and Sentencing
At Guyger’s sentencing, Jean’s brother Brandt read a statement where he forgave Guyger and then offered her a hug.
“If you truly are sorry — I know I can speak for myself — I forgive you, and I know if you go to God and ask him, he will forgive you,” said Brandt, according to NBC News. “I personally want the best for you. I wasn’t even going to say this before my family, 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 you to do — to give your life to Christ.”
He then asked if he could hug her and, upon receiving permission, pulled her into an embrace as she cried loudly. Judge Tammy Kemp also hugged Guyger after the sentencing, something which drew sharp criticism from several members of the media.
Guyger Was Eventually Convicted of Murder and Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison
When Guyger entered Jean’s apartment and shot him to death, she said she had mistakenly entered the apartment thinking it was her own. When she came upon Jean, she believed him to be a burglar and shot him. After several days, Guyger was arrested and charged with manslaughter.
But according to NBC News, Jean’s death sparked protests about the use of force by police and racial bias in law enforcement. Guyger was eventually fired from her job with the police department, and when a grand jury was impaneled in the case, they upped the charge from manslaughter to murder.
During the trial, the jury was allowed to consider that Guyger acted in the heat of the moment, which carries a lesser sentence than a murder charge. But the jury found her guilty of murder and sentenced her to 10 years in prison. The prosecution had asked jurors to give her at least 28 years, symbolic of the fact that Jean would have turned 28 during the trial, but they went with 10 years.
Guyger is currently an inmate at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Mountain View Unit, a maximum-security prison that houses over 600 women in Gatesville, Texas, which is about 130 miles southwest of Dallas. At the time she was booked, a spokesman for the Department of Criminal Justice told ABC News that Guyger “will likely be there for some time.” Guyger will be eligible for parole in 2024.
It is the same prison that houses Yolanda Saldivar, the woman convicted in 1995 of the murder of pop star Selena Quintanilla-Perez.
Impact of Murder airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Investigation Discovery.