DALLAS - The murder trial for a Dallas police officer who shot and killed her upstairs neighbor has been set for August.
Former officer Amber Guyger is charged with killing Botham Jean in his apartment at the Southside Flats in September 2018. She claims she walked into the wrong apartment and shot Jean, mistaking him for an intruder in her apartment.
During an announcement hearing Monday morning, a judge scheduled Guyger’s trial for Aug. 12. State and defense attorneys also exchanged information related to the case but nothing happened in open court.
According to court documents, the state requested records from Royal Carribean about a cruise or cruises Guyger may have taken between September 2018 and March 2019. One of the conditions of her release after she was charged with murder was that she could not travel outside of Texas without court permission. She also had to surrender her passport.
The court documents also reveal one witness was told to hand over a copy of the lesson plans for several courses Guyger would have taken during her time at the Dallas Police Academy from 2013 to 2014. Among them were courses on subjects like de-escalation techniques, use of force training and less lethal electronic control device training.
Another witness was asked to speak about Guyger's time card from August 15, 2018, until Sep. 7, 2018, the day after the shooting, the documents state. The week of the shooting, Guyger had worked 11 hours in overtime, with nearly six hours of overtime the day of the shooting at an address in southern Dallas. She worked 19 hours of overtime for the DPD the month before the shooting.
Attorney Heath Harris, who is not associated with the case, says a heavy workload will aid in her defense that it was all a mistake.
"There is a reason they regulate the numbers hours an officer can work. Because it affects their effectiveness when they are out on the streets,” Harris said. “State is going to have the burden to prove it wasn't a mistake.”
The hearing was just one step in the process of gathering more evidence and witness testimony in the case. More than a dozen of Jean's fellow church members were at the courthouse to watch that process.
"I came out to support Botham Jean. He was a member of our congregation at the Dallas West Church of Christ and he was just sort of like a great brother, friend. His family couldn't be here so we wanted to be here to support him and support the effort. We're looking for justice for Bo," said Emery Tease, a church elder.
Jean's family lives in St. Lucia. Since they can't attend every hearing, his church family is committed to attending in their place.
“In St. Lucia two weeks ago to visit the grave, family collapsed with grief, they are still struggling,” added minister Sammie Berry.