Amber Guyger Takes Stand on 5th Day of Testimony - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Guyger Murder Trial

Guyger Murder Trial

Amber Guyger Takes Stand on 5th Day of Testimony

Former residents testify to entering wrong apartments, being lost in the building

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Amber Guyger Testifies, Re-Enacts Shooting

    Amber Guyger, the fired Dallas police officer accused of murder for fatally shooting an innocent man in his own home, was called to the stand to defend her actions Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. (Published Friday, Sept. 27, 2019)

    Live Blog/Daily Recaps:
    Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9

    Fired Dallas police officer Amber Guyger broke down on the witness stand Friday, testifying in her own defense in the murder trial for the fatal shooting of Botham Jean where she for the first time gave her account of what happened inside his apartment.

    "Why did you shoot Amber," Defense Attorney Toby Shook asked Guyger. "I was scared he was going to kill me," Guyger said.

    Guyger began crying and shaking on the witness stand Friday after describing the moments before entering Jean's apartment that night. The emotions became particularly charged when Guyger was asked to stand up in front of the jury during a demonstration to show how she was carrying her equipment as she walked down the hallway, toward what she believed was her apartment.

    After a short break to allow Guyger to compose herself, testimony resumed and would continue for three hours.

    Amber Guyger Takes Stand on 5th Day of TestimonyAmber Guyger Takes Stand on 5th Day of Testimony

    Fired Dallas police officer Amber Guyger broke down on the witness stand Friday, testifying in her own defense in the murder trial for the fatal shooting of Botham Jean where she for the first time gave her account of what happened inside his apartment.

    (Published Friday, Sept. 27, 2019)

    Amber Guyger Admits Intent to Kill 'Intruder' Botham JeanAmber Guyger Admits Intent to Kill 'Intruder' Botham Jean

    Former Dallas County prosecutor Thomas D'Amore says he wasn't surprised Amber Guyger admitted on the stand Friday that she intended to kill Botham Jean.

    (Published Friday, Sept. 27, 2019)

    Guyger was able to re-enact that night for the jury, saying when she got to the apartment and opened the door she saw a figure by the back wall of the apartment.

    She said she ordered the person to "Let me see your hands! Let me see you hands!" She said the man came toward her saying, "Hey! Hey!" and that she then shot him, scared for her life.

    Judge Calls for Recess After Amber Guyger Breaks DownJudge Calls for Recess After Amber Guyger Breaks Down

    Judge Tammy Kemp calls a 10-minute recess after fired Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger becomes emotional on the witness stand. Her defense team had begun asking her questions about the moments leading up to the shooting.

    (Published Friday, Sept. 27, 2019)

    "I was scared, I was scared this person inside my apartment was going to kill me, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry," she said crying.

    Guyger testified Botham Jean's door opened when she inserted her key, telling jurors she could hear shuffling inside.

    "I used my left arm to fully open the door and at that time that's when I'm drawing my service weapon out," Guyger said. "All at the same time," Shook asked. "Yes sir," Guyger said.

    Guyger fired twice, a technique called a "double-tap" where a person fires two shots in rapid succession at the same height and toward the same area of a target.

    Amber Guyger Takes Stand in Her DefenseAmber Guyger Takes Stand in Her Defense

    Fired Dallas police officer Amber Guyger took the witness stand Friday in her murder trial for shooting unarmed Botham Jean inside his own apartment.

    (Published Friday, Sept. 27, 2019)

    She told the jury she realized she'd made a mistake when she got closer to Jean. At multiple points, when asked about killing Jean, Guyger broke down.

    "I hate that I have to live with this every single day of my life and I ask God for forgiveness," Guyger said.

    During cross-examination, Assistant District Attorney Jason Hermus was relentless, going after both Guyger's story and her decision to render limited aid to Jean.

    "I feel like a horrible person, I feel like a piece of crap. I hate that I have to live with this every single day. I feel like I don't deserve a family. I hate myself," Guyger said. "I wish he was the one that grabbed the gun and killed me. I never wanted to take an innocent person's life. And I am so sorry. This is not about hate. This is about being scared."

    "Why couldn't you have given him full undivided and proper attention," Hermus asked. "You can put the phone on speaker phone," he continued. "I had so much racing through my head," Guyger said.

    'Let Me See Your Hands!': Guyger Describes Confronting Jean'Let Me See Your Hands!': Guyger Describes Confronting Jean

    Former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger describes what she felt when she first saw Jean and the commands she gave him before opening fire.

    (Published Friday, Sept. 27, 2019)

    Citing multiple neighbors of Jean called to testify who said they never heard Gugyer say "let me see your hands" Hermus questioned Guyger's account that she did.

    "Not one of them heard you say that," Hermus said. "I can't tell you why," Guyger responded. "It's because you didn't say it," Hermus said. Guyger replied, "That's not true, sir."

    Following Guyger's testimony the court recessed for lunch, afterward testimony resumed with the defense calling several other witnesses, including three former residents of the apartment building who all had issues either parking on the wrong floor, entering the wrong hallway or even entering the wrong apartment.

    One former resident, Marc Lipscomb, testifed he was walking his dog and often left his apartment unlocked while he did so. When he returned, he said he walked into an apartment he thought was his and, when he spotted a purse on the counter, thought his roommate must have a guest. It wasn't until he was farther into the apartment, in the living room, when he startled a woman sitting on the couch who actually lived inside the residence.

    Testimony: South Side Resident Walked Into Wrong ApartmentTestimony: South Side Resident Walked Into Wrong Apartment

    Former South Side Flats resident Marc Lipscomb said on one occasion he accidentally walked into the apartment below his, without a key. He said it wasn't until he was in the living room when he saw a woman sitting on a couch that he realized he was in the wrong residence.

    (Published Friday, Sept. 27, 2019)

    Another resident, Jessica Martinez, said a man actually walked into her apartment holding a key fob used to unlock the building's electronic locks. She said she panicked and the man quickly left her residence. She said she then saw him use his key to enter another residence nearby.

    Testimony: South Side Locks Fail, Man Entered Her HomeTestimony: South Side Locks Fail, Man Entered Her Home

    Jessica Martinez testified Friday in the Amber Guyger murder trial that one night she had to wait a half hour for her door's electronic lock to finally unlock and that on another occasion a man walked into her apartment with a key. When she panicked, he left and entered a residence nearby, presumably his own.

    (Published Friday, Sept. 27, 2019)

    Dallas Police Officer Keean Blair, who was one of the first officers to respond to the shooting, testified Friday that he and partner Michael Lee provided CPR to Jean and ordered Guyger out of the apartment. He said she was emotional, crying and hysterical and that he wanted her out of the scene so they could focus all of their attention on providing medical aid to the victim.

    Under cross-examination, prosecutors asked Blair what would he do if he arrived home and found an intruder -- whether he would confront the person or, do what other officers have suggested in testimony that they're trained to do, fall back on training and wait for backup. Blair said it's a dynamic situation and that if he'd already engaged with the intruder he didn't imagine he would be able to retreat and wait for backup. He said if he had not yet entered the residence or engaged the intruder, he expected he would wait for backup.

    Testimony: Officer Who Gave CPR Defends Amber GuygerTestimony: Officer Who Gave CPR Defends Amber Guyger

    One of the first police officers to arrive at Botham Jean's apartment following Amber Guyger's 911 call performed CPR on the victim but also said the shooting was a dynamic situation and that he couldn't be certain what he might have done if he engaged a suspected intruder while alone.

    (Published Friday, Sept. 27, 2019)

    Attorney and former Dallas County prosecutor Erin Hendricks, who is not connected to the case, said the jury's perception of Guyger is critical.

    "Do they believe her? Do they like her? What if they don't like her, but they believe her?" Hendricks said.

    There is no question that Guyger entered Jean's apartment, mistaking it for her own, and shot and killed him; an innocent man. The question remains, did Guyger perceive Jean as a threat when was thought she was in her apartment?

    The prosecution has tried to paint the picture that the response of deadly force by Guyger was unreasonable and there were obvious indicators that she was at the wrong apartment on the wrong floor.

    The defense will now work equally as hard to prove that Guyger was acting to protect herself and that walking into Jean's apartment was an honest mistake that could have been made by anyone -- and that similiar mistakes have been made by other residents of the building.

    "Their perception of her in that moment — might be even more important than what they're perception of her is in the courtroom at council table," Hendricks said.

    'Mistake of Fact' Defense in Play in Guyger Murder Trial'Mistake of Fact' Defense in Play in Guyger Murder Trial

    A former Dallas County prosecutor says the Guyger murder case will come down to her 'mistake of fact' defense.

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019)

    If convicted of murder, Guyger faces between 5 and 99 years in prison. The judge could instruct the jury to consider a lesser charge if they feel murder is not appropriate in the case.

    Friday's Testimony

    Amber Guyger Testimony, Part 1Amber Guyger Testimony, Part 1

    On Day 5 of her murder trial for the fatal shooting of Botham Jean, former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger took the stand in her own defense Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, in what was, at times, very emotional testimony.

    (Published Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019)

    Amber Guyger Testimony, Part 2Amber Guyger Testimony, Part 2

    On Day 5 of her murder trial for the fatal shooting of Botham Jean, former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger took the stand in her own defense Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, in what was, at times, very emotional testimony.

    (Published Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019)

    Testimony: DPS Agent Finds Issue With Doors Not LatchingTestimony: DPS Agent Finds Issue With Doors Not Latching

    Texas DPS Special Agent Dustin Estes, a witness for the defense, said he investigated the doors securely closing and when at apartment 1226, not the apartment lived in by either Jean or Guyger, that the door failed to securely close when it hit the latch.

    (Published Friday, Sept. 27, 2019)

    Testimony: South Side Resident Walked Into Wrong ApartmentTestimony: South Side Resident Walked Into Wrong Apartment

    Former South Side Flats resident Marc Lipscomb said on one occasion he accidentally walked into the apartment below his, without a key. He said it wasn't until he was in the living room when he saw a woman sitting on a couch that he realized he was in the wrong residence.

    (Published Friday, Sept. 27, 2019)

    Testimony: South Side Locks Fail, Man Entered Her HomeTestimony: South Side Locks Fail, Man Entered Her Home

    Jessica Martinez testified Friday in the Amber Guyger murder trial that one night she had to wait a half hour for her door's electronic lock to finally unlock and that on another occasion a man walked into her apartment with a key. When she panicked, he left and entered a residence nearby, presumably his own.

    (Published Friday, Sept. 27, 2019)

    Testimony: South Side Resident Entered Wrong HallwayTestimony: South Side Resident Entered Wrong Hallway

    Amy Rose, a former resident of the South Side Flats testified Friday that while she was a resident she was once walking to her apartment and noticed a neighbor's wicker urn was missing and then noticed her floor mat was missing. It was then she realized that she was not on the proper floor.
    (Published Friday, Sept. 27, 2019)

    Testimony: Officer Who Gave CPR Defends Amber GuygerTestimony: Officer Who Gave CPR Defends Amber Guyger

    One of the first police officers to arrive at Botham Jean's apartment following Amber Guyger's 911 call performed CPR on the victim but also said the shooting was a dynamic situation and that he couldn't be certain what he might have done if he engaged a suspected intruder while alone.

    (Published Friday, Sept. 27, 2019)