State Rests on Day 4, Defense Motion for a Direct Verdict of Not Guilty Denied - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Guyger Murder Trial

Guyger Murder Trial

State Rests on Day 4, Defense Motion for a Direct Verdict of Not Guilty Denied

Case to resume Friday when defense is expected to call their first witness

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    State Rests, Defense to Call First Witness Friday

    Dallas County prosecutors rested their case against Amber Guyger on Thursday, satisfied they'd proved she murdered 26-year-old Botham Jean on the trial's fourth day. Before calling a witness in her defense, Guyger's team filed a motion requesting a direct verdict of not guilty, claiming the state failed to prove she knowingly and intentionally caused Jean's death -- the motion was denied by Judge Tammy Kemp and court was recessed until Friday morning. (Published Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019)

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    Dallas County prosecutors rested their case against Amber Guyger on Thursday, satisfied they'd proved she murdered 26-year-old Botham Jean on the trial's fourth day.  Before calling a witness in her defense, Guyger's team filed a motion requesting a direct verdict of not guilty, claiming the state failed to prove she knowingly and intentionally caused Jean's death -- the motion was denied by Judge Tammy Kemp and court was recessed until Friday morning.

    Defense's Motion for Direct Verdict DeniedDefense's Motion for Direct Verdict Denied

    After the state rested Thursday, Gugyer's legal defense team asked Judge Tammy Kemp to rule on a motion for a direct verdict of not guilty after asserting the state did not prove Amber Guyger knowingly and intentionally caused the death of Botham Jean. Kemp denied the motion.

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019)

    Defense Attorney Robert Rogers said during opening statements that Guyger will take the stand. Legal experts have told NBC 5 she will likely be the final witness. Judge Tammy Kemp has sequestered the jury and announced Thursday that court will be in session on Saturday.

    The state called a half-dozen witnesses Thursday for largely technical testimony, including a police officer, police detective, two Texas Rangers, a firearms expert and a criminal investigator for the district attorney's office.

    The two Rangers involved in the investigation were among those to take the stand along with Dallas Police Officer Tu Minh Nguyen.

    Amber Guyger, left, in court, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019.
    Photo credit: Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News

    Nguyen testified he moved Jean's shoes while attempting to revive him, which is important since the prosecution and defense continue to debate how close Jean was to Guyger when she fired the fatal shot.

    Nguyen confirmed that preservation of life trumps preservation of the crime scene and that officers attempting to save Botham Jean's life were not concerned with where furniture or other items were in the apartment -- or where they were moved. It was more important to move what they needed to move to render aid.

    Like the two previous responding police officers called to testify, Nguyen also told jurors Jean was alive when he arrived.

    "Is Mr. Jean alive or deceased," prosecutor Jason Hermus asked, referencing Nguyen's body camera video. "He was alive," Nguyen said, noting Jean's breathing was very faint and he was making slight, barely audible noises.

    Prosecutors, Defense Look at Guyger, Jean ApartmentsProsecutors, Defense Look at Guyger, Jean Apartments

    The central question in Thursday's testimony: How did Amber Guyger  mistakenly enter Botham Jean's apartment? In court, prosecutors and defense were looking at images of his apartment and Guyger's.

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019)

    The jury also heard testimony Thursday from a Dallas police detective and Texas Ranger who took photos and video of the third and fourth floors of the South Side Flats apartments hallways and entrances to the parking garages. Both investigators noted the lack of apparent signage indicating which floor a person was on as well as Botham Jean's distinctive red floor mat -- the only one on his floor. Both investigators also noted the lack of a welcome mat in front of Guyger's apartment on the third floor.

    Texas Ranger Michael Adcock testified Thursday that he created a 3-D photograph of Jean's apartment, called a Lecia scan, to help investigators show approximately where Amber Guyger was when she fired her weapon. Guyger fired two shots that night, only one of which hit Jean. The second shot ended up going through the back wall of his apartment. Measurements of that "disturbance" in the wall allowed investigators to plot a flight path of the bullet and give a likely location from where it was fired.

    April Kendrick, a firearms and ammunition examiner at the Southwest Institute for Forensic Science (Dallas Crime Lab) instructed jurors on how a cartridge worked to "shoot a bullet" and verified for the jury that the gun placed into evidence as Amber Guyger's duty weapon was confirmed to have fired the shot that killed Botham Jean.

    Dallas County District Attorney's Office Criminal Investigator Michael Grice told the jury that several days after the shooting he secured a warrant to take possession of Jean's red floor mat, noting that officers working the crime scene in the first hours after the shooting focused on the inside of his apartment and didn't recognize the evidentiary value of the floor mat at the time.

    Following Grice's testimony, the state rested their case. The trial will resume Friday morning at 8:30 a.m.

    Thursday's Testimony

    How a Cartridge Works to Fire a Bullet: Trial TestimonyHow a Cartridge Works to Fire a Bullet: Trial Testimony

    April Kendrick, firearms and ammunition expert at the Southwest Institute of Forensic Science (Dallas Crime Lab) shows how ammunition, a cartridge, works to fire a bullet.

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019)

    Robyn Carr Cross-Examination Continues Into ThursdayRobyn Carr Cross-Examination Continues Into Thursday

    The cross-examination of Dallas police crime scene analyst Robyn Carr continued Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019. Carr confirmed the placement of shell casings in a crime scene are not always indicative of where gunshots were fired -- they can easily be kicked or moved.

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019)

    Officer Nguyen's Body Cam Entered Into State's EvidenceOfficer Nguyen's Body Cam Entered Into State's Evidence

    Dallas Police Officer Tu Minh Nguyen testifies in the Amber Guyger murder trial, Sept. 26, 2019, related to body camera footage recorded when he responded to the shooting on Sept. 6, 2018. Portions of the video have been obscured due to the graphic nature of resuscitation efforts.

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019)

    Jean's Red Floor Mat, Lack of Visual Cues Obvious on FloorsJean's Red Floor Mat, Lack of Visual Cues Obvious on Floors

    Detective Stephen Cleary, with the Dallas Police Department, testifies in the Amber Guyger murder trial, Sept. 26, 2019. Cleary took photographs of both Guyger's apartment and Jean's apartment and noted that there was no floor mat in front of her residence while there was a red floor mat in front of his. Cleary testified that on the fourth floor, there were no other bright red floor mats in the hallway from the parking garage entrance to Jean's front door. Under cross, Cleary agreed there were few visual indicators on each floor to say what floor a person was on.

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019)

    Ranger's Video Shows Few Markings in Apartment GarageRanger's Video Shows Few Markings in Apartment Garage

    Texas Ranger Michael Stoner testified Thursday about video he shot at the South Side Flats apartment building showing the hallways and entrances to the parking garages on both the third and fourth floors. Stoner also shot Botham Jean's red door mat and as many visual indicators as he could find to indicate which floor you were on.

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019)

    Laser Scan Shows Bullet Flight PathLaser Scan Shows Bullet Flight Path

    A Lecia scan taken by Texas Ranger Michael Adcock was used to create a 3-dimensional photo of Botham Jean's apartment. Adcock testified Sept. 26, 2019 how investigators were able to use that image to show approximately where Amber Guyger was when she fired on Jean, killing him, Sept. 6, 2018.

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019)

    Forensics Expert Confirms Guyger's Gun Killed Botham JeanForensics Expert Confirms Guyger's Gun Killed Botham Jean

    April Kendrick, a firearms and ammunition examiner at the Southwest Institute for Forensic Science (Dallas Crime Lab) testifies in the Amber Guyger murder trial, Sept. 26, 2019. Kendrick showed how a cartridge works and verified that a gun entered into evidence as Amber Guyger's fired the shot that killed Botham Jean.

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019)

    Dallas County DA Investigator Testifies to Securing Door MatDallas County DA Investigator Testifies to Securing Door Mat

    Michael Grice, a criminal investigator for the Dallas County District Attorney's Office, testified that he collected Botham Jean's red door mat several days after the shooting since it was not initially considered to have any evidentiary value in the early hours of the investigation.

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019)

    Defense's Motion for Direct Verdict DeniedDefense's Motion for Direct Verdict Denied

    After the state rested Thursday, Gugyer's legal defense team asked Judge Tammy Kemp to rule on a motion for a direct verdict of not guilty after asserting the state did not prove Amber Guyger knowingly and intentionally caused the death of Botham Jean. Kemp denied the motion.

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019)

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