Family of Botham Jean Decries 'Smear' of His Character - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Killed at Home

Killed at Home

Family of Botham Jean Decries 'Smear' of His Character

Among the items seized from Jean's apartment was a small amount of marijuana, according to the Dallas Police Department search affidavit

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Family of Botham Jean Decries 'Smear' of His Character

    The family of Botham Jean, the 26-year-old worship leader who was shot and killed inside of his apartment, is calling for greater transparency in the investigation. (Published Friday, Sept. 14, 2018)

    Speaking at a press conference Friday, the mother of Botham Jean said it was time that people recognize that her son's life "matters." 

    "To have my son smeared in such a way I think shows that there are persons who are really nasty, who are really dirty and are covering up for the devil Amber Guyger," Allison Jean said. 

    The family also called for the immediate firing of Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, questioning why her toxicology results have not been released. 

    "The issue is, why is Botham Jean being investigated as if he is the criminal?,” family attorney Benjamin Crump said.

    Attorneys and Family of Jean Provide Latest Updates

    [DFW] Attorneys and Family of Jean Provide Latest Updates
    Attorneys, as well as Botham's mother, spoke at a press conference Friday afternoon.
    (Published Friday, Sept. 14, 2018)

    Family attorneys and Jean's mother were critical of information in recent search warrants and details leaked to media outlets that they believe are intended to damage the character of Jean. 

    A search warrant released Thursday by the Dallas Police Department contradicts what Guyger initially told investigators after she fatally shot 26-year-old Jean inside his apartment, mistaking him for a burglar in her own residence.

    According to the detective filing the report, on the night of shooting, Guyger "was attempting to enter apartment 1478, with a set of keys. An unknown male inside the apartment confronted the officer at the door. A neighbor stated he heard an exchange of words, immediately followed by at least two gunshots."

    That statement contradicts what Guyger later told investigators, claiming "the door was slightly ajar… the room nearly completely dark,” and that she spotted him “from across the room… and shot him."

    During Jean’s funeral, the Dallas Police Department released a search warrant detailing property seized from Jean’s apartment, though they didn’t say if that property belonged to Jean or Guyger. Among the items seized was a small amount of marijuana. Jean's attorneys said the mention of marijuana being among the property seized is a "disgusting attempt to assassinate his character."

    Other items that were listed include, two bullet casings, a laptop, a ballistic vest with police markings, a black backpack with police equipment and paperwork, an insulated lunch box, a metal marijuana grinder and two RFID keys. The document does not disclose whom the items belonged to.

    Botham Jean's Family Demands Greater Transparency

    Botham Jean's Family Demands Greater Transparency Following Release of Search Warrant

    The family’s attorneys will hold a press conference at noon. Along with greater transparency, the family’s attorneys would like Guyger fired from the Dallas police department, and for her toxicology report to be released.

    (Published Friday, Sept. 14, 2018)

    Along with greater transparency, the family’s attorneys would like Guyger fired from the Dallas Police Department and for her toxicology report to be released.

    Crump says the marijuana allegedly found inside Jean’s apartment is "completely irrelevant," and the Jean family does not know whom it belonged to. Crump said any attempt to use the alleged discovery to divert focus from the circumstances of Jean’s death is "nothing but a disgusting attempt to assassinate his character now that they have assassinated his person."

    “This adds absolutely nothing of value for solving this crime and for it to be released this day, I don’t believe in coincidences. This was an intent to come after this young man’s character, which is impeccable by the way,” said Lee Merritt, who also represents Jean's family.

    An attorney with the Washington Law Firm spoke on behalf of the Jean family and asked why Guyger was able to walk free after discharging her weapon.

    “There is no question in our mind that on that night, he was in his apartment, he had a lawful right to be in his apartment. When you walk that apartment complex, when you walk that hallway, even if you were sleepy, walking that long hallway is going to give you the opportunity to wake up. But one thing is clear. When she [Amber Guyger] left where ever she was on that night, she didn’t have any problems remembering where her keys were, she didn’t have any problems remembering where her car was parked. In fact, she never stopped to ask somebody, can you tell me where my apartment complex is located because I’m tired? She was able to find all these places without any assistance, and when she took the life, the excuses came.”

    Dallas police initially reported Guyger was an off-duty officer and was acting as a citizen. “Okay, if she was an off-duty police officer, then she was acting as a regular citizen. Are you telling the citizens of Dallas that is a regular individual would kill somebody, that you allow them to walk around on their cellphone? In the crime scene and not immediately arrest them? None of it makes sense.”

    Video Shows Amber Guyger Booked Into Jail Sunday Night

    [DFW] Newly Released Video Shows Amber Guyger Booked Into Kaufman Co. Jail Sunday Night

    Video shows Dallas officer Amber Guyger being booked into the Kaufman County Jail Sunday, September 9, 2018. Guyger turned herself in to face a manslaughter charge after she shot and killed Botham Jean inside his apartment. Guyger is out after posting bond.

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018)

    Washington goes on to say that this is all due to the lack of training that the officer received at the Dallas Police Department.

    “It’s a training issue that we have in Dallas, it has always been the issue that police officers pull the trigger and ask questions later,” Washington said.

    Botham’s mother, expressed her discontent at how her son was being portrayed to the public.

    “The information received yesterday is, to me, worst than the call that I got on the morning of Friday, Sept. 7," she said. "I don’t know my son has to be involved in such, and I want to find out whether the toxicology reports on Amber has been released because she was the murderer. I want to find out whether her apartment has been searched, whether her car has been searched and also on the Saturday when we spoke to the Texas Ranger, he was saying that there was no reason in his mind that she ought to have been locked up. So there was enough time for three days that she roamed the streets after committing such a crime. So far, my family and I have only been asking for a fair hearing for my son.”

    “It is time that we recognize that lives matter. My son’s life matters," Jean said. "At 26-years-old, he had done so much so if you extrapolate what he could have done had he reached my age, then you would have seen how much I have lost.”

    She plead for the Texas justice system to find the truth and to find justice for her son.

    'God Gave Me An Angel: Botham Jean Memorialized Thursday

    [DFW] 'God Gave Me An Angel: Botham Jean Memorialized Thursday

    Botham Shem Jean, the 26-year-old man killed in his apartment by a Dallas police officer who said she mistook his apartment for her own, was remembered Thursday as a devout Christian who loved to sing at church and always had time to help others.

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018)

    Get the latest from NBC DFW anywhere, anytime

    • Download the App

      Available for IOS and Android