Dallas Police Officer Found Guilty of Murder: “It’s a Huge Victory for Black People In America”

(Photo credit: Facebook.com)

It didn’t take long for the jury to find ex-Dallas police officer Amber Guyger guilty of murder in the death of Botham Jean, her 26-year-old upstairs neighbor.

It’s the trial that has been watched for nearly a year after Guyger fatally shot Botham, unarmed and in his own apartment, which she said she mistook for her own.

According to CNN.com, here’s what we know about the case:

The verdict: The jury deliberated less than 24 hours. The jury had two questions for the court this morning before they reached the verdict, according to attorneys for the Jean family. They asked for the definition of manslaughter and for additional information on the so-called castle doctrine — the legal notion that your home is your castle, and you have the right to use lethal force to defend your home and not retreat.

“Huge victory”: Outside court, S. Lee Merritt, an attorney for Jean’s family, called the rare murder conviction against a police officer a “huge victory” not only for the victim’s family but also “for black people in America.”
Sentencing hearing: The jury heard from Jean’s mother, who described the day she learned her son had been fatally shot. “My life has not been the same,” she said today in court. “It’s just been like a roller coaster.”

Possible sentence: With the murder conviction, Guyger, 31, faces up to life in prison.

This past week of Botham’s birthday. And his family turned it into a celebration of life.

A few hundred people dressed up and gathered together for the Red Tie Gala to celebrate his life and benefit the Botham Jean Foundation.

“I just wish he were here,” said Allisa Findley, Jean’s sister to NBCDFW.com. “I could see him all over the room. He would’ve been taking over everything. You would’ve known his name and know everything about him by the end of the night if he was here.”

“When I woke up this morning it was very emotional because I miss the first call I would’ve made this morning would be to Botham to wish him a happy birthday,” said his mother Allison Jean.

The Jean family is determined to continue his legacy with the Botham Jean Foundation.

The foundation, Findley says, has already held a health fair, soccer clinics, helped an orphanage in their native St. Lucia and built a water well in Ghana.

RICHARDSON, TX – Press conference following the funeral service for Botham Shem Jean. Jean was killed when a Dallas Police officer who accidentally went into Jean’s apartment, thinking it was her own and shot him. (Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images)

Jean was a young accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Others at the company have adopted a saying: ‘Be Like Bo.’

“What that means to me is Bo was someone who always saw the best in everybody at every situation,” said Scott Moore, greater Texas market managing partner at PWC. “He was always happy. He was always bringing his friends to go do things for other people.”

The trial, that is slowing coming to an end, Jean’s mother says, has been difficult at times but…

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