Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger took the stand on Friday to testify about the night she killed her upstairs neighbor Botham Jean mere moments after entering his apartment, allegedly mistaking it for her own.
Barely able to compose herself, Guyger, 31, shook and cried on the stand.
“I hate that I have to live with this every single day of my life,” Guyger sobbed about her experience since she killed 26-year-old Botham Jean on Sept. 6, 2018.
“I ask God for forgiveness, and I hate myself every single day…I wish he was the one with the gun who had killed me. I never wanted to take an innocent person’s life.”
Despite her theatrical death wish pronouncement, Guyger and her defense team are still fighting to save her from life in prison. The argument being that she was so exhausted after working a 14-hour day that she mistakenly parked on the wrong level of the apartment building’s parking structure, mistakenly walked down the wrong hallway, and mistakenly attempted to turn her key in the wrong door—a door adorned with a red floor mat that she did not own.
She testified that she was “scared to death” when she allegedly realized that the door was “cracked open.”
Guyger, who was off-duty and aware enough to send and receive intimate text messages with her married partner with whom she’d had an affair, was still in uniform when she walked into Jean’s home and drew her service weapon, allegedly shouting: “Let me see your hands! Let me see your hands!”
According to Guyger, Jean—who had been sitting on his couch in his apartment watching television and eating ice cream—began walking swiftly toward her shouting “hey, hey, hey.”
While this would seem counter to the actions of any Black man facing a white police officer with service weapon drawn, Guyger stands by that claim. Dr. Chester Gwin, the Dallas County medical examiner who performed Jean’s autopsy, testified that Jean was shot in the left side of his chest, the bullet clipping his heart and traveling downward through the left side of his lung, before it went through his diaphragm, stomach and intestines, ultimately stopping inside his body.
The bullet’s trajectory and location seemingly point to Jean either “crouching, cowering, ducking or standing up off the couch when he was shot,” possibly “sitting or even on his back.” Defense attorneys claim that Jean, who was 6-1, possibly crouched down moments before Guyger, who is 5-3, opened fire. Prosecutors argue that Jean, who had returned home less than 30 minutes before Guyger walked in, was sitting down eating ice cream.
“I would expect that it would be painful,” Gwin testified about the massive internal bleeding that Guyger caused because she was allegedly too tired or busy sexting to pay attention to where she was going.
Guyger, who testified that she became a police officer to “help people,” is trained in CPR, yet did not perform CPR on Jean because it didn’t cross her mind that she had first aid tools in her backpack, she testified.
Further, when asked by lead prosecutor Jason Hermus why she she chose to shoot Jean instead of deescalating, Guyger replies, “That was the only option that went through my head.”
When asked what she took away from an 8-hour de-escalation training course, which she’d taken five months before the shooting, Guyger replied,
“I don’t remember.”
When Guyger’s brothers in blue showed up, she was not handcuffed. She was not treated like a criminal, nor a suspect. She was allowed to move freely among them—free, alive.
Botham Jean’s family, his friends, loved ones, and all who believe in justice, will always remember.
Watch Guyger testify below: