Amber Guyer

A police officer was found guilty of manslaughter after shooting an “intruder”.


Aubrie Stevens

Five search warrants for Amber Guyer’s apartment were given but never executed.

Amber Guyer had been working for the Texas police force for four years.

Former police officer Amber Guyer has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for fatally shooting her black neighbor Botham Jean. On the night of September 6th, 2018, Dallas police officer Amber Guyer had just finished her 15 hour shift and was heading to her apartment in South Side Flats in Cedars, still dressed in her uniform. Her apartment was on the third floor of the building but she accidentally ended up on the fourth floor, where Botham Jean’s apartment was.

Botham Jean’s mother believed the crime scene was messed with by Texas state troopers in favor of Guyer.

She claimed that the door was unlocked, but later claimed the door was open. Upon entering what she thought was her apartment, she spotted a dark figure on the couch and assumed there was an intruder in her home. According to Guyer’s claim , the dark figure came towards her and she shot him, a 26 year old man named Botham Jean, in the abdomen twice. The two did not know each other as they lived on different floors of the building. She realized this was not her apartment when she went back to the door and immediately called 911. Paramedics took Jean to a medical center in Dallas where he later died from the extent of his injuries. On September ninth, Amber Guyer turned herself in to a Kaufman County authorities and was charged with manslaughter with the bail set at $300,000, also facing 5 to 99 years in prison. Within an hour she posted bond and was released. Jean’s mother criticized the release of the search warrant three days after, claiming her son was smeared and that people, including officers, are covering up for Guyer.

Lafayette High School history teacher Sean Smith had a strong opinion as to Guyer’s claim to innocence–namely, that she isn’t. “No, considering how the Dallas police took care of the scene, they treated her differently and waited three days to search her house. She should’ve gotten a longer sentence.”

Guyer was finally fired from the Dallas police force on September 24th, after working as an officer for four years and being on administrative leave since the crime occurred. Between the time of the crime and trial, texts were found on Guyer’s phone on multiple accounts with fellow police officers and known friends indicating she is racist. Lafayette High School teacher Barbara Norton agreed that racism affected this situation. “It has everything to do with the crime,”she said.

Sean Smith is the AP US history teacher at Lafayette Highschool.

On November 30th the Grand Jury indicted Guyer for murder, so she turned herself in to Mesquite jail and then posted $200,000 bond. The murder trial was planned to start September 23rd, 2019. When the trial started, information was released which made activists call for the investigation of officer Martin Rivera, who had an ongoing sexual relationship with Guyer and was sexually texting Amber the night of Botham Jean’s murder. In 2007, Rivera shot and killed 20 year old African- American man, Brandon Washington outside of a Dallas convenience store where he was eating a stolen candy bar. Guyer’s defense argues that she shot Jean out of fear for her life, “She intended to kill the burglar, her thought process was ‘I’m going to shoot the bad guy.” But prosecutors quickly claimed that self-defense does not apply to Guyer’s case, as Botham Jean was no type of threat. October 1st, the grand jury deliberated less than 24 hours to find Guyer guilty of murder and sentence her to 10 years in federal prison, where she will be eligible for parole in 5 years.

Texas is one of the most heavily armed states in the United States.

Guyer’s sentence is claimed by Jean’s mother a “Huge victory” for Jean’s family and the black community. Many people believe Guyer’s sentence is too short for the seriousness of the crime. Mr. Smith states, “She got a sentence that didn’t fit the crime because she was white.”

Guyer’s final statement was,  “I hate that I have to live with this every single day of my life and I ask God for forgiveness.” Botham, Jean’s younger brother, asked the judge if he could hug his brother’s killer, so he embraced Guyer and told her he forgave her. Judge Tammy Kemp personally addressed Guyer and told her God could forgive her. Kemp gave her one of her own bibles telling her what she does now matters the most. After court she was taken to Kaufman County jail to serve her sentence.