Former Dallas Cop Found Guilty For Shooting Man In His Apartment

Beebo Brink

Climate Apocalypse Alarmist
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
1,317
SL Rez
2006
She was sentenced to 10 years, which seems a little light to me, but better than I expected.
Given that manslaughter would also have been a valid judgment, I'm okay with 10 years for murder. It's not a slap on the wrist by any means, enough to bite, but not enough to equate her actions with pre-meditated murder. It's also not so severe a sentence that the defense can scream biased jury. They probably will anyway, of course.

As for Guyger's reaction... she still makes it all about her, which is probably some insight into why this happened. She's so locked up in her own head, that she really lacks judgment. She's too self-absorbed and emotional to be a good cop; she lacks the ability to detach and view a situation analytically.

“I feel like a terrible person. I feel like a piece of crap,” she said. “I hate that I have to live with this every single day of my life. And I ask God for forgiveness, and I hate myself every single day. I feel like I don’t deserve a chance to be with my family and friends. And I wish he was the one with the gun who killed me.”
 
Last edited:

Kamilah Hauptmann

This Reality Blows
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
3,126
Location
Cat Country (Can't Stop Here)
“I feel like a terrible person. I feel like a piece of crap,” she said. “I hate that I have to live with this every single day of my life. And I ask God for forgiveness, and I hate myself every single day. I feel like I don’t deserve a chance to be with my family and friends. And I wish he was the one with the gun who killed me.”
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Messages
1,304
Location
NJ near Philly
SL Rez
2003
SLU Posts
4494
Botham Jean's family are very forgiving people.

'10 Years In Prison Is 10 Years For Her Reflection': Botham Jean's Mother At End Of Amber Guyger Trial

Also in the story, Botham's brother:

“I love you just like anyone else,” he said. “I’m not going to say I hope you rot and die… I personally want the best for you and 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 you to do — and the best would be to give your life to Christ.”

WATCH: Botham Jean’s Brother Gives Amber Guyger Hug After Sentencing
 

Innula Zenovka

Nasty Brit
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
3,096
SLU Posts
18459
Given that manslaughter would also have been a valid judgment, I'm okay with 10 years for murder
I'm not so sure about that.

Did she offer to plead guilty to manslaughter? If she didn't, or if she did but the prosecution rejected the offer, why wasn't it available to the jury as an alternative charge?

To my mind, the jury found her guilty of murder, so that's what she fell to be sentenced for.

Certainly it was a very unusual murder, with no apparent aggravating factors and considerable personal mitigation, but I don't see how the court could go behind the jury's verdict and treat it as the lesser crime of manslaughter.

Mind you, the whole sentencing hearing sounds pretty bizarre:

In extraordinary scenes in the courtroom a few minutes after the sentence was handed out, the victim’s brother, Brandt, said he forgave Guyger.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

After asking permission from Judge Tammy Kemp, Brandt Jean walked across the room to hug Guyger. Kemp also hugged her, after speaking with and embracing Jean’s family members.

After Brandt Jean’s gesture, Kemp herself went over to where Guyger sat and, opening a Bible to John 3:16, said: “This is where you start.” Then they hugged.
Giving her a Bible and hugging her might be appropriate behaviour from the prison chaplain, but seems pretty odd coming from a judge.

While the intention behind it was doubtless more humane, why is it any less unacceptable than displaying a plaque of the 10 Commandments at the courthouse, and do Texas judges also keep on hand a ready supply of copies of the Torah, the Quran, the Guru Granth Sahib, the Gitas and the holy books of other religions in case they feel moved to offer comfort and spiritual guidance to defendants from other religious traditions?
 
  • 1Agree
Reactions: Brenda Archer
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Messages
1,304
Location
NJ near Philly
SL Rez
2003
SLU Posts
4494
You are always so thoughtful Innula. I will try to give my perspective though I am really tired in my personal life, so I hope my responses are coherent enough.

I'm not so sure about that.

Did she offer to plead guilty to manslaughter? If she didn't, or if she did but the prosecution rejected the offer, why wasn't it available to the jury as an alternative charge?
I don't know that she had the option to plead guilty to manslaughter. I think I read that was an option for the jury to consider but I could be wrong about that.
To my mind, the jury found her guilty of murder, so that's what she fell to be sentenced for.
Yes.

Certainly it was a very unusual murder, with no apparent aggravating factors and considerable personal mitigation, but I don't see how the court could go behind the jury's verdict and treat it as the lesser crime of manslaughter.
Yes.

Mind you, the whole sentencing hearing sounds pretty bizarre:


Giving her a Bible and hugging her might be appropriate behaviour from the prison chaplain, but seems pretty odd coming from a judge.
First, it was the brother of the victim that gave her a hug, not the judge.
While the intention behind it was doubtless more humane, why is it any less unacceptable than displaying a plaque of the 10 Commandments at the courthouse, and do Texas judges also keep on hand a ready supply of copies of the Torah, the Quran, the Guru Granth Sahib, the Gitas and the holy books of other religions in case they feel moved to offer comfort and spiritual guidance to defendants from other religious traditions?
Regardless of anything the law says, there are people who believe that spirituality includes understanding that people are simply misguided and tormented. They need to be kept away from society possibly because they are a danger. That doesn't mean the purpose of that is punishment. They also are able to forgive them for their painful crimes where the vast majority of people would not be able to.
 
  • 1Thanks
Reactions: Innula Zenovka

Innula Zenovka

Nasty Brit
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
3,096
SLU Posts
18459
First, it was the brother of the victim that gave her a hug, not the judge.
I think, if you re-read the piece of the article I quoted, you will see that she was hugged first by the victim's brother and then by the judge:

After asking permission from Judge Tammy Kemp, Brandt Jean [the victim's brother] walked across the room to hug Guyger. Kemp also hugged her, after speaking with and embracing Jean’s family members.

After Brandt Jean’s gesture, Kemp herself [the judge] went over to where Guyger sat and, opening a Bible to John 3:16, said: “This is where you start.” Then they hugged.



Regardless of anything the law says, there are people who believe that spirituality includes understanding that people are simply misguided and tormented. They need to be kept away from society possibly because they are a danger. That doesn't mean the purpose of that is punishment. They also are able to forgive them for their painful crimes where the vast majority of people would not be able to.
Quite possibly so, but I don't really see what that's got to do with propriety of the judge in a criminal trial telling the defendant she's just sentenced she ought to become a Christian (or a Muslim, or a Sikh or anything else).
 
  • 1Agree
Reactions: Brenda Archer

Beebo Brink

Climate Apocalypse Alarmist
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
1,317
SL Rez
2006
To my mind, the jury found her guilty of murder, so that's what she fell to be sentenced for.
I was speaking only to my own personal reaction that 10 years was a sentence I considered appropriate for what was -- if I'm really generous -- at the very least an act of manslaughter, if not murder as the jury decided. As compared to my partner, for instance, who believes that manslaughter would have been a more just decision and thought 10 years was too much. If I remember correctly, the court had the option of as little as 5 years and up to 20years, so I'm confused how anything in that range could be seen as undermining the jury's verdict.

Giving her a Bible and hugging her might be appropriate behaviour from the prison chaplain, but seems pretty odd coming from a judge.

While the intention behind it was doubtless more humane, why is it any less unacceptable than displaying a plaque of the 10 Commandments at the courthouse, and do Texas judges also keep on hand a ready supply of copies of the Torah, the Quran, the Guru Granth Sahib, the Gitas and the holy books of other religions in case they feel moved to offer comfort and spiritual guidance to defendants from other religious traditions?
Welcome to Texas. Yes, it's wholly inappropriate and specifically Christian and only Christian, but it's not the least bit surprising. Because Texas.
 

Innula Zenovka

Nasty Brit
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
3,096
SLU Posts
18459
I was speaking only to my own personal reaction that 10 years was a sentence I considered appropriate for what was -- if I'm really generous -- at the very least an act of manslaughter, if not murder as the jury decided. As compared to my partner, for instance, who believes that manslaughter would have been a more just decision and thought 10 years was too much. If I remember correctly, the court had the option of as little as 5 years and up to 20years, so I'm confused how anything in that range could be seen as undermining the jury's verdict.
I think my problem with this is that I'm used to very different definitions of murder and manslaughter from those prevailing in many US jurisdictions.

Here, manslaughter is normally available to the jury as an alternative verdict in murder cases, and the sentencing ranges for the two crimes are very different; had she been convicted here of murder on similar facts (including the fact that she was lawfully carrying her gun at the time) then the starting point would have been 15 years, but since it's only 5 in Texas, then I can see the actual sentence was not inappropriate for what's probably best regarded as a momentary loss of self-control and failure of judgement because of shock and panic at (as she thought) finding an intruder in her apartment.

But I'd then defend the sentence as being a fair one, given the sentencing range, rather than because I thought it's what she should have received had they convicted her for the right offence, if that makes sense.
 
  • 1Agree
Reactions: Brenda Archer

Aribeth Zelin

Faeryfox
Joined
Sep 23, 2018
Messages
456
SL Rez
2004
Joined SLU
03-11-2011
SLU Posts
9410
I'm with Beau of the Fifth Column - the Jeans are much better people, and knowing that makes me more angry that she only got 10 years. Then again, she's an ex cop in jail for ten years...
 

Beebo Brink

Climate Apocalypse Alarmist
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
1,317
SL Rez
2006
I'm with Beau of the Fifth Column - the Jeans are much better people...
It shouldn't matter. Botha Jean could have been utter scum, an asshole of the first order, and he still did not deserve to die eating ice cream in his own apartment.

Amber Guyger could have been a saint, a paragon of virtue, and she still should have been punished for lapses of judgment that lead to the death of a person who had done no wrong at that point in time -- ie, sitting on their own couch.

And I will admit that I'm little uncomfortable with the role Amber's affair may have played in her verdict. The fact that she was having an affair with her married partner should be completely irrelevant except for the distraction. But I suspect that if she'd been distracted by a phone call to her minister talking about her volunteer service to starving orphans in Bulgaria, the jury might have viewed her with a less jaundiced eye. Women's moral failings have a disproportionate effect on people's judgement of them.

However, if this disparity -- a fine, upstanding Christian black man versus a home-wrecking white woman -- is what it takes to shake people up about police killing unarmed black men, well, so be it. Cause we badly need a shake-up in this area.
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Messages
1,304
Location
NJ near Philly
SL Rez
2003
SLU Posts
4494
I think, if you re-read the piece of the article I quoted, you will see that she was hugged first by the victim's brother and then by the judge:

After asking permission from Judge Tammy Kemp, Brandt Jean [the victim's brother] walked across the room to hug Guyger. Kemp also hugged her, after speaking with and embracing Jean’s family members.

After Brandt Jean’s gesture, Kemp herself [the judge] went over to where Guyger sat and, opening a Bible to John 3:16, said: “This is where you start.” Then they hugged.



Quite possibly so, but I don't really see what that's got to do with propriety of the judge in a criminal trial telling the defendant she's just sentenced she ought to become a Christian (or a Muslim, or a Sikh or anything else).
I missed that about the judge hugging too. There was an article I don't have the link to that said the judge thought she shouldn't have been sentenced to jail time at all but that she refused to let the jury hear that opinion of hers. So, I certainly don't think any of what you mentioned is proper but that told me something about the mindset of the judge.
 

Beebo Brink

Climate Apocalypse Alarmist
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
1,317
SL Rez
2006
Last night, my wife and I had a spirited debate about this case (in so far as I can debate these days, when I can mostly just gasp out words at a whisper and she tries to read my lips because she's so hard of hearing), but anyway, my wife feels that Guyger was guilty of manslaughter and poor judgment rather than murder. She believes the argument that Guyger was oblivious to her surroundings and genuinely thought there was a burglar in her own apartment, that it wasn't her intention to kill Botha Jean. She deems this a tragedy, and I think that's the most generous interpretation anyone could ask for, and more generous than the jury was willing to grant, but my wife tends to be a compassionate woman.

So I keep wondering why I can't see it that way, why this just keeps bothering me like an itch I can't scratch. What exactly do I think happened?

Where I've ended up for now is that it was never Guyger's intention to kill an innocent person, or to specifically kill Botha Jean, but that she was perfectly okay with killing a person who was robbing her apartment. I think the evidence shows that she entered that room with the intention to shoot the motherfucker who was messing with her stuff, whether or not he was armed. My read is that she went in pissed as hell and ready to make someone pay for it.

Because if Guyger had any reservations about taking the life of a "bad guy" she would have followed her own training and waited outside, calling for backup. There was no pressing need to enter an apartment with an intruder, there was no pressing need to confront and challenge an unknown presence, that very well could have been armed, but could also have been unarmed.

I think this killing was more than just a series of misjudgments brought on by fatigue. I think this was an act of anger, mixed with a jaded indifference to the life of someone she assumed was a perp.
 
Last edited:

Innula Zenovka

Nasty Brit
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
3,096
SLU Posts
18459
Where I've ended up for now is that it was never Guyger's intention to kill an innocent person, or to specifically kill Botha Jean, but that she was perfectly okay with killing a person who was robbing her apartment. I think the evidence shows that she entered that room with the intention to shoot the motherfucker who was messing with her stuff, whether or not he was armed. My read is that she went in pissed as hell and ready to make someone pay for it.
That's exactly it, I think, Beebo.

Since she deliberately fired on Botha Jean, it's indisputable that she either intended to kill him or at least to cause him serious injury.

I don't know what her evidence was, in detail, but by their verdict the jury clearly discounted to possibility that, at the time she pulled the trigger, she thought her life was in danger, and he never seems to have made any threatening moves or gestures, since he was apparently sitting on the couch eating ice cream when he died.

And, as you say, she had no need to enter the apartment at all Presumably police officers in Dallas are trained to call for backup rather than try to tackle a suspect alone when they suspect he may be armed but there's no immediate need to apprehend him, so why didn't she do that?

I might see things differently if she had been an ordinary member of the public, unused to confronting criminals who may well be armed, but since she was an experienced police officer, I do view it very differently.

I can accept that she acted in the heat of the moment -- maybe he heard as she entered the room and turned round, so they both gave each other a fright and she panicked and fired -- but once she had taken the decision to unholster her gun and turn off the safety, then she was responsible for what she did with it.

Which, again, takes me back to the question of why, on reaching the conclusion that the situation was potentially grave enough to justify drawing her weapon, she didn't call for backup rather than proceeding alone into what she thought was a potentially lethal situation when there was no apparent need to.
 

Katheryne Helendale

🐱 Kitty Queen🐱
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
2,982
Location
Right... Behind... You...
SL Rez
2008
Joined SLU
October 2009
Last night, my wife and I had a spirited debate about this case (in so far as I can debate these days, when I can mostly just gasp out words at a whisper and she tries to read my lips because she's so hard of hearing), but anyway, my wife feels that Guyger was guilty of manslaughter and poor judgment rather than murder. She believes the argument that Guyger was oblivious to her surroundings and genuinely thought there was a burglar in her own apartment, that it wasn't her intention to kill Botha Jean. She deems this a tragedy, and I think that's the most generous interpretation anyone could ask for, and more generous than the jury was willing to grant, but my wife tends to be a compassionate woman.

So I keep wondering why I can't see it that way, why this just keeps bothering me like an itch I can't scratch. What exactly do I think happened?

Where I've ended up for now is that it was never Guyger's intention to kill an innocent person, or to specifically kill Botha Jean, but that she was perfectly okay with killing a person who was robbing her apartment. I think the evidence shows that she entered that room with the intention to shoot the motherfucker who was messing with her stuff, whether or not he was armed. My read is that she went in pissed as hell and ready to make someone pay for it.

Because if Guyger had any reservations about taking the life of a "bad guy" she would have followed her own training and waited outside, calling for backup. There was no pressing need to enter an apartment with an intruder, there was no pressing need to confront and challenge an unknown presence, that very well could have been armed, but could also have been unarmed.

I think this killing was more than just a series of misjudgments brought on by fatigue. I think this was an act of anger, mixed with a jaded indifference to the life of someone she assumed was a perp.
What gets me is the same thing that bothers me about cops in general these days:Namely, the whole shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later attitude she displayed. If her training didn't include taking a defensive stance and waiting for backup, or at the least try to confirm what the guy was doing in "her apartment", it should have. And if it did, then she was grossly negligent to the point of dereliction. I don't think she came home with the intent to kill anyone, but she did fully intend to kill whoever was in there without a second's thought, and that is why I agree she was guilty of murder.
 

Beebo Brink

Climate Apocalypse Alarmist
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
1,317
SL Rez
2006
Which, again, takes me back to the question of why, on reaching the conclusion that the situation was potentially grave enough to justify drawing her weapon, she didn't call for backup rather than proceeding alone into what she thought was a potentially lethal situation when there was no apparent need to.
Exactly. And I think if this had happened while on duty and she was called to someone else's apartment for a suspected burglary, she would have gone by the book. But this was HER space, and this was personal. And she was going to take care of it HER way, without any bothersome policies and regulations; she was defending her turf, so the law would give her the benefit of the doubt no matter what she did.

Only it didn't quite turn out that way.
 

Cristiano

I AM BABY GROOT
Admin
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Messages
2,273
SL Rez
2002
Joined SLU
Nov 2003
SLU Posts
35836
Ultimately, whatever sentence she ended up with, her life is completely destroyed. She will always be a convicted murderer, and the notoriety of what she did will follow her for the rest of her life. I'm sure what she's having to live with inside her own head is its own prison sentence.
 

danielravennest

Active member
Joined
Sep 21, 2018
Messages
1,079
SLU Posts
9073

Free

Kamilah is stalking me
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 22, 2018
Messages
5,648
Location
Underground in America
SL Rez
2008
Joined SLU
May 2009
SLU Posts
55565
A Dallas judge “overstepped” when she “inappropriately” hugged Amber Guyger and gave her a Bible moments after the former police officer was sentenced to a decade in prison for murdering her unarmed black neighbor, a national atheist group claims.

In a complaint filed Thursday with the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct, the Freedom From Religion Foundation alleged Dallas County Judge Tammy Kemp acted unconstitutionally at the sentencing hearing for Guyger, 31, who was convicted of killing 26-year-old Botham Jean inside his apartment after mistaking his unit for her own.

The Wisconsin-based national non-profit group, which has more than 30,000 members, is now asking the commission to investigate Kemp’s “proselytizing actions,” claiming they “overstepped judicial authority.”
Maybe she should have given her a copy of the Harry Potter books. More entertaining, for sure.
 
  • 1Thanks
Reactions: Brenda Archer

Kamilah Hauptmann

This Reality Blows
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
3,126
Location
Cat Country (Can't Stop Here)