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Dallas Cop Who Killed Neighbor Hears Her Fate

Amber Guyger shows little emotion as the sentence is read in court
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 2, 2019 4:24 PM CDT
Bertrum Jean, father of Botham Jean, breaks down on the witness stand talking about his son during the punishment phase of the trial of former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019...   (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP, Pool)
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(Newser) – A white Dallas police officer was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison for killing her black neighbor in his apartment, which she said she mistook for her own unit one floor below, the AP reports. Amber Guyger didn't appear to show much reaction, at least from the angle of a live camera stream, as the judge read the jury's sentence. It came a day after the jury convicted her of murder in the September 2018 killing of Botham Jean. Guyger’s sentence was met with boos and jeers by a crowd gathered outside the courtroom. "It's a slap in the face," one woman said. The basic facts of the unusual shooting were not in dispute throughout the trial. Guyger, returning from a long shift that night, entered Jean’s fourth-floor apartment and shot him.

He had been eating a bowl of ice cream before she fired. Guyger said she parked on the wrong floor and mistook Jean's apartment for her own, which was directly below his, and mistook him for a burglar. In the frantic 911 call played repeatedly during the trial, Guyger said "I thought it was my apartment" nearly 20 times. Her lawyers argued that the identical physical appearance of the apartment complex from floor to floor frequently led to tenants going to the wrong apartments. But prosecutors questioned how Guyger could have missed numerous signs that she was in the wrong place. The shooting drew widespread attention because of the strange circumstances and because it was one in a string of shootings of unarmed black men by white police officers.

(Read more police shooting stories.)

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