Amber Guyger is going to stand trial — possibly soon — for murder. The former Dallas police officer this past September allegedly walked into a Botham Jean’s apartment and shot him to death reportedly thinking she had entered her own apartment.
The case has riveted many residents of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, which makes a request for a change of venue so very interesting.
Guyger’s lawyers insist she cannot get a fair trial in Dallas County, where the case is set to be tried. They want a change of trial venue to a county other than Dallas County, citing “media hysteria” surrounding the case.
I am not going to argue for or against a change of venue. Indeed I can see why defendant’s legal counsel would want to change the trial location. However, the counsel should insist on moving it far away not just from Dallas County, but also from Collin County, Tarrant County, Rockwall County, Ellis County — or any part of the region served by the Dallas/Fort Worth media outlets that have been covering this case.
Send it to El Paso County, or to Orange County, or to Hidalgo County, or to Dallam County.
Yes, there is intense interest in this case. A lot of the circumstances sound, shall we say, weird. Guyger was suspended at first from the Dallas Police Department and then was fired after she was indicted for murder in the death of Botham Jean, a native of St. Lucia who lived in an apartment on a separate floor from where Guyger resided.
Whatever the judge decides, my belief is that this case needs to go a lot farther away than just outside of Dallas County.