A former US police officer who shot dead her neighbour inside his own apartment in Dallas, Texas has been given a 10 year prison sentence for his murder.
Amber Guyger, 31, 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 faced up to 99 years in prison.
Guyger’s lawyers had argued she was distracted by sexually suggestive texts with another police officer and had just completed a nearly 14 hour shift when she made “a series of horrible mistakes” on the night of 6 September 2018.
S. Lee Merritt, an attorney who represents Jean’s family, wrote on Twitter:
“Of course that’s inadequate. The entire justice system is inadequate and the work must continue.”
Dallas District Attorney John Creuzot said that his office is very pleased with the verdict and sentence.
Following the sentencing Jean’s mother, told reporters outside the courtroom that the 10 year sentence would give Guyger time to reflect and to change her life.
She said the former officer was either trained poorly or applied her training incorrectly.
“That should never, ever happen again,” she said. “If Amber Guyger was trained not to shoot in the heart, my son would be standing here today.”
Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall said at a separate own news conference that the department will launch an internal investigation over police actions described by witnesses during the trial.
She said: “The testimony that came out in this trial is not reflective of the men and women of the Dallas Police Department. I stand before you today fully committed to making the changes that need to be made.”