Amber Guyger, the Dallas police officer who was sacked earlier this year following the fatal shooting of her black neighbor inside his apartment, was indicted by a grand jury Friday on a murder charge, according to court records. She was arrested days after the September 6 shooting that killed her 26-year-old neighbor Botham Jean, who was from the Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia.
Sgt. Michael Mata, president of Dallas' largest police union, the Dallas Police Association, said Guyger was a respected officer and well known to investigative units in the department because she worked on a high-risk team tasked with arresting some of the most violent offenders. She said she thought her apartment was being burglarized and gave verbal commands to the person, who ignored them. Still in her uniform, Guyger parked her vehicle in the complex and walked to what she believed was her apartment, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. Lee Merritt said he talked with two witnesses who said they heard knocking at a door and a woman they believed to be the officer saying, 'Let me in.' He also said Jean had placed a red mat at his door to differentiate his apartment from the others. It says it was dark inside, she saw the silhouette of a man, and she gave him orders that he didn't follow.
Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall emailed a statement to CBS 11 News that said in part, "Every person in the Dallas Police Department continues to feel anguish about this hard and tragic event that occurred on September 6, 2018".
The Latest on a former Dallas police officer indicted for fatally shooting an unarmed black man in his apartment (all times local): 4:40 p.m. Dallas' police chief says all personnel in her...
"When you look at the facts of this case, we thought that it was murder all along", Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson said.
The grand jury's new indictment comes after deliberations and days of testimony from witnesses and Jean's family.
Former police officer charged with the murder of St. Lucian national
Guyger was arrested on a manslaughter charge three days after the September 6 shooting, prompting criticism that the original charge was too lenient.
A Dallas County grand jury delivered the indictment against Amber Guyger after weighing the evidence against the fired Dallas officer Monday and Wednesday. "I have said all along that we were going to investigate this case thoroughly ..."
Speaking at a news conference Friday, Allison Jean said she believed Guyger "inflicted tremendous evil on my son". When she went to open the door with her key, it was already slightly ajar, and she was able to enter. He said Jean's mother testified before the grand jury, which he described as highly unusual. She quickly posted a $200,000 bond, almost three months after posting a $300,000 bond for the original manslaughter charge.
Botham's mother Allison said, "They have been quite thorough in their investigation". After graduating from college in Arkansas, he moved to Dallas to work for PriceWaterHouseCoopers.
Jean wasn't the first person shot by Guyger.