DALLAS - Jurors heard and saw fired Dallas police officer Amber Guyger in the moments after she shot her neighbor, Botham Jean, in his own apartment on day two of her trial on a murder charge.
Prosecutors played Guyger's call to 911, in which she repeated over and over that she thought she was in her apartment. The prosecution pointed out that Guyger, who was off-duty, used her cell phone rather than her police radio -- as would be more common following an officer-involved shooting.
Guyger wiped tears as her call to 911 was played in court. Jean's family had to leave the courtroom as they were overcome with emotion when police body camera video was played showing him after he'd been shot with officers trying to save his life.
Bodycam video of the first responding officers showed them rushing to provide CPR. The state is trying to convince the jury that Guyger was more concerned about herself and her job rather than the man she shot.
The body camera video showed that Jean was still alive when officers arrived at his apartment on the night of September 6, 2018.
Officers Michael Lee and Kennan Blair were the first to arrive at the scene. Blair started CPR while Guyger says to Lee, who went through the academy with her, “I thought I was in my apartment.”
Officer Lee was questioned by the prosecutor. He testified that rather than shoot a burglary suspect, he would "cover and conceal" as in getting to safety and call for back up. But the defense questioned that, and Lee changed his answer.
“If you felt your life was in danger and you were in your own home confronting a burglar that was in your own home and you felt threatened with your life, you would use deadly force, correct?” the defense asked Lee.
“Deadly force, yes sir," Lee replied.
In the 911 call Guyger made before the officers’ arrival, she said nearly 20 times that she believed she was walking into her own unit.
“I’m an off duty officer. I thought I was in my apartment and I shot a guy thinking that he was, thinking it was my apartment,” Guyger said.
Prosecutors tried to show through images the difference in attitude between arriving officers who gave their all to try and save Jean and Guyger – at one point showing a still image of a body camera video showing Guyger on her phone while officers were inside.
Guyger’s toxicology results were also revealed for the first time. She did not have alcohol or drugs in her system at the time of the deadly shooting. Her work schedule was also clarified, with officials stating in the eight days leading up to the shooting she worked five days and had three days off. On the day of the shooting, she worked five hours and 45 minutes overtime. It was part of a continuing effort by prosecutors to show Guyger was not as fatigued as defense attorneys have claimed.
Video was shown from a detective showing both Guyger and Jean’s keys fitting into his lock. But there was red lighting with Guyger’s key and green with Jean’s, meaning her key would not have unlocked his door. But, as stated on Monday, Jean’s door was not completely closed at the time of the shooting.
Midday, a lengthy hearing took place when the jury was out of the courtroom. It involved allegations of special treatment for Guyger immediately after the shooting.
Guyger was placed in a squad car and Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata directed Dallas Police Sgt. Breanna Valentine to turn off the recording system in that squad car, which she did.
"Were you required to follow his directions," the judge asked.
"The statement wasn't given as a direct order," Valentine said.
The state suggested Guyger was given a perk only cops could get. Defense attorneys argued whatever happened was out of Guyger’s control and the judge agreed. For now, the jury will not hear about the squad car video being turned off.
Each of Jean's neighbors who testified Tuesday said that they did not hear any verbal commands before the gunshots. But they also could not make out what Jean or Guyger said to each other.
The most emotional moment came from Jean's neighbor across the hall, Joshua Brown. Brown says he met Jean that day. They both smoked marijuana and had received individual visits from the leasing office that day about a complaint. Brown broke down remembering how he'd always hear Jean singing through his door.
"I would hear him singing.. gospel music or Drake," Brown said.
Brown also said that he has also once gone to the wrong floor and even put his key in the lock. When it turned red, he realized he was in the wrong place.
At some point in the trial, Guyger is expected to take the stand.
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