I have been reluctant to comment on a pending case involving a former Dallas police officer who shot a neighbor to death believing he was burglarizing her apartment.
Tragically, Amber Guyger was wrong. She shot Botham Jean to death while he was sitting in his own apartment. A Dallas County jury this week convicted her of murder.
Then today, the jury came back with a prison sentence: 10 years hard time for the ex-officer.
I don’t like second-guessing jurors. They hear all the evidence. The rest of us sit out here in the peanut gallery, drawing our own conclusions based mostly on what we read in the papers or see on TV.
With that, I won’t weigh in on whether the 10-year prison term is enough, or is too much.
Guyger’s life as she knew it has been ruined. She made a tragic mistake a year ago when she thought she was returning to her apartment, only to shoot Botham Jean — a St. Lucia native — to death. She tried to enter his apartment on a separate floor from where she resided. How does that happen? I had asked that question from the beginning.
Well, it did. Jurors had the option of convicting Guyger of manslaughter, but decided to follow the district attorney’s lead and convicted her of murder.
Botham Jean’s family and friends have been delivered the justice they sought. The community can begin the process of healing from this terrible, tragic event.
As for Amber Guyger, well … she will get to reflect on the life-changing error she made that night. Ten years might not seem like enough time to spend behind bars.
Then again, Amber Guyger has shattered her own life, which might prove to be punishment enough.