“Botham Jean was never a threat to Amber Guyger — never,” Jason Hermus, a prosecutor for Dallas County, told jurors during closing arguments on Monday. “Justice needs to happen in this courtroom today.”
Ms. Guyger testified that she was returning home from a long day of work when she accidentally parked on the wrong floor of the complex’s garage. As Ms. Guyger walked down the fourth-floor hallway, she said, she did not notice that anything was amiss, including the red doormat outside Mr. Jean’s door.
The door strike plate was defective and not fully latched closed, according to the defense, allowing Ms. Guyger to enter using her own keys.
When Ms. Guyger saw someone inside, she said, she drew her gun and shouted, “Let me see your hands.” She testified that Mr. Jean was walking toward her and shouting “Hey” when she fired her weapon twice, striking Mr. Jean once in the torso and killing him.
“I was scared he was going to kill me,” she told jurors when she took the stand last week.
Her testimony conflicted with prosecution witnesses, including neighbors who said they did not hear verbal commands and a medical examiner, who testified that the bullet had a downward trajectory, indicating that Mr. Jean was either getting up from a seated position or was “in a cowering position” when he was shot.
Toby Shook, a lawyer for Ms. Guyger, asked the jury to consider that she had made a mistake, one that was common in an apartment complex where many residents interviewed by investigators said they had parked on the wrong floor by accident.
“A wonderful human being has lost his life,” Mr. Shook said of Mr. Jean in closing arguments. “But the evidence shows it is just a tragedy — a horrible, horrible tragedy.”