Cop Accused of Killing Man in His Home: I Wish He'd Shot Me

At murder trial, ex-Dallas cop Amber Guyger says she thought Botham Jean was going to kill her
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2019 1:40 PM CDT
Cop Accused of Killing Man in His Home: I Wish He'd Shot Me
Fired Dallas police officer Amber Guyger becomes emotional as she testifies in her murder trial on Friday in Dallas.   (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP, Pool)

The former Dallas cop who shot and killed neighbor Botham Jean in his own apartment took the stand Friday morning at her Texas murder trial, emotional as her defense team continued to insist that Jean's death was a "tragic but innocent" mistake that happened after she entered his apartment instead of her own. She said Friday she'd shot Botham because she feared for her life at the sight of what she thought was a burglar, in what she initially thought was her apartment, per the Dallas Morning News. "I feel like a piece of crap," Amber Guyger said through tears, per NBC News. "I hate that I have to live with this, and ask God for forgiveness. ... I hate myself every single day." She added she wished the roles had been reversed last year on the fatal evening of Sept. 6, and that the 26-year-old Jean had shot her instead: "I never wanted to take an innocent person's life."

This was the first public appearance for Guyger, who said she'd just wrapped up a 13-hour-plus shift that night when she mistakenly went into Jean's apartment, which was on the floor above hers. She says the door was already unlocked, which raised a red flag. "I was scared," she said on the stand. "Your heart rate just skyrockets." After entering, she said, she heard "shuffling," saw a silhouette, and immediately thought someone had broken in. She said she took out her gun and told Jean to show his hands, at which point she claims he started approaching her, "aggressively" saying, "Hey! Hey! Hey!" That's when she said she shot him. Prosecutors showed texts she sent that night to her married partner on the force, whom she admits having an affair with, to prove she wasn't as fatigued as she says she was, as they'd made plans to meet. Guyger will face a life sentence if convicted. (More Amber Guyger stories.)

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