The brother of Botham Jean who was fatally shot by ex-US cop Amber Guyger Botham told her “I love you like anyone else,” after she received a 10 year sentence for the crime.
He later hugged her in the courtroom before she was led off to prison.
The Dallas County jury reached a unanimous decision on the sentence after deliberating for just over an hour.
Judge Tammy Kemp ordered Guyger and her attorneys to stand as she read the jury’s decision.
The sentence seemed to initially disappoint Botham Jean’s family and its supporters of the victim, Botham Jean, who had hoped for far harsher punishment for Guyger. Several members of the family broke down in tears, shaking their heads as if in disbelief of the jury’s decision.
But in a dramatic moment Jean’s 18-year-old brother, Brandt Jean, took the witness stand and addressed Guyger, directly.
He said: “I know if you go to God and ask him, he will forgive you
“I love you just like anyone else and I’m not going to hope you rot and die. I personally want the best for you. I wasn’t going to say this in front of my family, I don’t even want you to go to jail. I want the best for you because I know that’s exactly what Botham would want for you. Give your life to Christ. I think giving your life to Christ is the best thing Botham would want for you.”
Brandt Jean then asked Kemp if he could give Guyger a hug, a request the judge granted.
He stepped off the witness stand and met Guyger in front of the judge’s bench and embraced as Guyger broke into tears.
Guyger, 31, had argued she killed Botham Jean, 26, after mistakenly thinking she was in her own flat and that he was an intruder.
The sentence, reached after an hour of deliberation, was decided by the same 12-member jury that had also found her guilty. She had faced up to 99 years in prison.
Jean’s mother, Allison, said at a post-sentencing news conference that while the death of her son “changed my life, changed my family’s life,” she will accept the jury’s decision and try to move on.
“That 10 years in prison is for her (Guyger) to reflect and to change her life,” Allison Jean said. “But there is much more to be done by the city of Dallas. The corruption we saw during this trial must stop. The city of Dallas needs to clean up inside. The Dallas Police Department has a lot of laundry to do. The Texas Rangers need to get on board.”