The punishment phase of Amber Guyger’s murder trial began Tuesday afternoon, two hours after a Dallas jury found the former police officer guilty of murder.
The jury took only five hours to decide that Guyger, a white cop who shot her black neighbor Botham Jean when she mistook his apartment for hers, was guilty of murder. She was the first Dallas police officer to be convicted of murder since the 1970s and faces up to 99 years in prison.
The jury first heard from Jean’s mother, Allison. Prosecutors walked her through several pictures of her son during various stages of his life. Allison Jean spoke fondly of her son’s academic and extracurricular accomplishments as well as his commitment to his church.
After the judge read the guilty verdict around noon, Jean’s sister sobbed while his mother raised her fists in the air and said, “God is good.”
Ben Crump, a lawyer for Jean’s family said, “Nothing will bring Botham back, but today his family has found some measure of justice. What happened on September 6, 2018, is clear to everyone: This officer saw a black man and shot, without reason and without justification. The jury’s thoughtful verdict sets a powerful precedent for future cases, telling law enforcement officers that they cannot hide behind the badge but instead will face justice for their wrongful actions.”