WATCH LIVE: Amber Guyger takes stand in her murder trial for killing Botham Jean
02 October, 2019, 00:28
A former Dallas police officer charged with murdering an unarmed neighbour when she walked into his condominium pondering it was her personal, wept as she testified in her personal defence on Friday, saying she asks God each day for forgiveness.
Armstrong said it was a reasonable perception for Guyger to believe there was a burglar in her apartment.
Guyger's sister and mother sat in court, each holding tissues in their hands, but rarely growing emotional as the former police officer testified that she was "scared to death" at discovering the apartment door "cracked open" and a silhouetted figure in the darkness inside.
"It's not a mistake".
When asked how Guyger feels now about taking Jean's life, she said it's a reality she has to live with every day. She was uniformed at the time of the shooting, and had just returned back to her apartment complex after completing a 13-hour shift.
Attorney Toby Shook asked jurors to consider the evidence from Guyger's perspective: She thought she was at her apartment, found the door open, went inside and discovered a large man in what she thought was her living room. Guyger should have devoted all of her attention to providing first aid to Jean, Hermus said, instead of texting her partner.
To make his point, he placed Guyger's police first aid bag onto the table in front of her and began pulling out some of the content - combat gauze and other items created to control traumatic bleeding.
The prosecution rested yesterday after presenting jurors with numerous differences they said Guyger should have spotted along the way to the apartment and once inside, including a bright red doormat and different furniture. Hermus emphasized that Guyger realized somebody was inside the apartment when she was still out in the hallway.
"I felt like it was morally wrong", Guyger said about her relationship with Martin Rivera, the officer. Guyger is seen directing officers to Jean's apartment, telling them, "I thought it was my apartment".
"I wanted him to keep breathing", Guyger said.
September 23, 2019 - Guyger's murder trial begins in Dallas.
"It sounds so absurd - all of the things that she missed and all of the things that she thought", Fine said.
Under cross-examination, the prosecution pointed out that Guyger's emotional appearance in court belied her actions the night she killed Jean, when he said she was not in tears while sitting comfortably in the squad auto using her phone. Guyger was later arrested, fired and charged with murder.
Guyger, who was kicked off the police force after she killed her neighbor, Botham Jean, told the court that she meant to kill him when she pulled the trigger, which she said is what she had been trained to do.
"(Using lethal force) was the only option that went through my head", Guyger said. Hermus emphasized that Guyger could have chosen to take cover rather than opening fire.
Intent is a crucial element for prosecutors to establish because it's what sets apart murder from a reckless act like manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide. The judge ruled that Armstrong could tell the jury in general about what kinds of physical sensations a police officer might experience when confronting a deadly threat, but could not opine about the reasonableness of Guyger's actions.
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