DALLAS, TEXAS — One day after Amber Guyger was found guilty of murder in the shooting death of Botham Jean, the sentencing hearing resumed at the Franklin Crowley Courts Building here in Dallas.
The day opened Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, with gut-wrenching testimony from Jean’s father, Bertrum Jean. A native of St. Lucia, Bertrum Jean shared stories of his son’s childhood and memories of their father-son relationship.
Botham Jean, who moved from St. Lucia to Dallas for work, would call home every Sunday after church. It became a weekly routine and a way for he and his family to maintain their strong bond while living over 2,000 miles apart.
“My Sundays have been destroyed,” Bertrum said during his teary-eyed testimony. “I’m still not ready for it. It hurts me that he’s not there.”
Bertrum said he continues to deal with the trauma surrounding his son’s death.
“How could that happen to us, our family?” he said. “How could we have lost Botham, such a sweet boy. He tried his best to live a good, honest life. He loved God. He loved everyone. How could this happen to him? … I’ll never see him again.”
Several defense witnesses also testified, including Amber Guyger’s mother, Karen Guyger. “She always would tell me she wishes she could’ve taken his place,” Karen Guyger said during her testimony. “She feels very bad about it.”
Amber Guyger, a former Dallas police officer, shot and killed Botham Jean, 25, in September 2018. She initially claimed that she thought she walked into her apartment, which was one floor below Jean’s when she encountered him. After the fatal shooting, Guyger told authorities that she was tired when she walked into Jean’s apartment.
On Tuesday, Oct. 1, Guyger was convicted of murder. She faces five to 99 years in prison. Probation is not an option.