Amber Guyger's sentence for the murder of Botham Jean has been handed down. According to a report by the Star Telegram, Guyger was given 10 years in prison for the crime.
Guyger was found guilty of murder on Tuesday after a short deliberation. The former Dallas, Texas police officer walked into the wrong apartment in her building last year and mistook the man who lived there for an intruder. She shot and killed 26-year-old Botham Jean as he was eating ice cream on his couch.
The jury found Guyger guilty of murder in the case. According to Texas state law, she could have faced as much as life in prison for the offense. Instead, the jury settled on a decade of imprisonment for the former cop.
Deliberations on the sentence began at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The prosecutors reportedly asked for a hefty sentence for Guyger — somewhere around 28 years. Her defense attorney, Toby Shook, asked for leniency, noting that Guyger was not likely to commit another crime when she is freed.
Guyger's maximum sentence could have been up to 99 years given her conviction. However, the former cop did not qualify for Texas' more sever punishment, including life without the possibility of parole or even the death penalty. The judge gave jurors the option of finding Guyger guilty of manslaughter, and even allowed them to consider the "castle doctrine," but they settled on a verdict of murder.
The shooting took place on Sept. 6, 2018 and has held national attention ever since. Guyger was getting off of a 14-hour shift for the Dallas Police Department, and was returning home still in uniform. She was distracted by her phone and entered the apartment on the floor directly above hers, thinking it was her own. When she saw Jean, she reacted quickly, shooting him in the chest.
Guyger's case was considered an important battleground for the Black Lives Matter movement. Prosecutors argued that, even in her confusion, a professional cop should have registered that Jean was not a threat. The 26-year-old accountant was watching TV and holding a bowl of ice cream when she shot him.0comments
Still, many were disappointed that Guyger was not given the full sentence allowed by law, or even the one recommended by the state. When her 10-year prison term was announced, social media erupted with grumbles at the leniency.
"Amber Guyer deserved more than 10 years for being a trained cop who gunned down a man in his own home," MTV host Jem tweeted. "Botham Jean deserved more justice for being murdered while sitting on his couch eating ice cream. I'm happy about a guilty verdict but I believe justice wasn't FULLY served."