Former Dallas Cop Amber Guyger Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison
A former Dallas Police Department officer found guilty of murdering her downstairs neighbor in September of 2018 has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Amber Guyger was found guilty of murdering Botham Jean by a jury Tuesday morning. That afternoon, the sentencing phase of her trial began and continued into Wednesday.
The Associated Press reports that Guyger faced up to 99 years or life in prison. During Wednesday's session, Judge Tammy Kemp provided jurors with information on Texas' sudden passion defense, which allows for a significantly shorter sentence if a jury is convinced the defendant's actions were taken in the heat of the moment.
Witnesses for the prosecution included Botham Jean's father and friends. Witnesses for the defense included Guyger's mother, friends, and former police colleagues.
Jean's father testified that his son routinely called him after church on Sundays. Friends described him as an intelligent and funny person who is sorely missed.
Guyger's friends described her as friendly and bubbly, and colleagues said the texts entered into evidence seemed "out of character" for her. One woman described how Guyger helped her overcome a drug addiction.
WFAA-TV reported Wednesday that text messages the prosecution argued displayed casually racist humor were also presented in court. The messages had been successfully blocked by the defense during the initial trial, but Judge Kemp allowed their entry into the sentencing phase.
The Dallas Morning News and KTVT-TV report that Botham Jean's brother stated in court that he forgives Guyger, and embraced her during the sentencing phase. They also report that some felt the sentence was too lenient, and a protest was planned to take place outside the courthouse at 6:30 PM Wednesday.