Amber Guyger, the former Dallas police officer who was convicted of killing her neighbor Botham Jean in what she claims was an accidental shooting, got hugs from both the murder victim’s brother and the judge who sentenced her to 10 years in jail.
Amazingly, Jean’s 18-year-old brother, Brandt Jean, told Guyger during his victim impact statement that he forgave her. He then asked Judge Tammy Kemp if he could give Amber a hug.
“I don’t want to say twice or for the 100th time how much you’ve taken from us. I think you know that,” Brandt said. “I love you just like anyone else, and I’m not going to hope you rot and die.”
Brandt continued: “I wasn’t going to say this in front of my family, but 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.”
Brandt then turned to the judge and asked, “I don’t know if this is possible, but can I give her a hug please?”
(Source: ABC News/Twitter)
Brandt Jean was hailed as a hero for his compassion toward Guyger, who says she made a mistake when she entered Botham Jean’s apartment in 2018 and shot him twice.
Guyger claimed she thought she had entered her own apartment, and that Jean, 26, was an intruder.
The poignant courtroom scene became even more dramatic when Judge Tammy Kemp also hugged a crying Guyger and gave her a Bible.
“You can have mine. I have three or four more at home,” the judge said, according to WFAA. “You just need a tiny mustard seed of faith. You start with this [Bible]. This is the one I use every day. This is your job for the next month. It says right here in John 3:16: ‘For God so loved the world…'”
Judge Kemp added: “You haven’t done so much that you can’t be forgiven. You did something bad in one moment in time. What you do now matters.”
Amber Guyger was a four-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department. She was convicted of murder for shooting and killing Botham Jean in his own apartment, claiming she thought she had entered her own apartment.
Judge Tammy Kemp reads the verdict in the #AmberGuygerTrial. Watch live here ➡️ https://t.co/Nwnc4tSlkG #AmberGuyger #BothamJean pic.twitter.com/ZhWnZES4iD
— NBC DFW (@NBCDFW) October 1, 2019
One angry protester in the courtroom said Guyger’s 10-year jail sentence for murder was too light. With parole, Guyger could be released in five years.
“We did not get justice and this is not fair,” the protester said. “How many of us is it going to take?”
Botham Jean’s mother, Allison Jean, testified that her life has descended into a nightmare ever since her son was murdered.
“I cannot sleep. I cannot eat. It’s just been the most terrible time for me,” Allison Jean said during her victim impact statement.
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