Former Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson Subpoenaed to Testify in Amber Guyger Pretrial Hearings

Pretrial hearings set for Aug. 9, Aug. 19, ahead of September murder trial

New documents obtained by NBC 5 show former Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson has been subpoenaed to testify in at least two pretrial hearings related to the upcoming Amber Guyger murder trial.

The subpoena applications show Johnson must appear in pretrial hearings on Aug. 9 and Aug. 19 and be prepared to take the stand on behalf of the defense.

The defense has asked for material related to Johnson's campaign for district attorney from Sept. 6, 2018 to Nov. 6, 2018, including scripts for speeches, ad copy, artwork, emails and texts about Amber Guyger or Botham Jean or the same related to her campaign.

Former Dallas County Assistant District Attorney Heath Harris said he believed the defense likely planned to use Johnson's testimony as part of its push for a change of venue. 

"In this case, I think the defense is entitled to hear from the DA on that specific issue," Harris said. "I'd be very surprised if there is a change of venue, I think the case will be tried right here in Dallas County.”

Guyger, 30, is accused of fatally shooting Botham Jean inside his own apartment on Sept. 6, 2018. She was charged with manslaughter three days later, before a grand jury heard evidence and opted to instead indict her on a murder charge. Guyger claimed she mistook his apartment for her own (she lived in the same complex, though on a different floor) and thought he was an intruder. He was unarmed.

Guyger's defense team argued earlier in the month that they would be seeking a new venue for the trial, saying the jury pool in Dallas County has been "poisoned" by pretrial publicity and a "false narrative' that race motivated the shooting.

Guyger's team previously said that media coverage of the shooting was led by Johnson, who, they allege, violated the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Since Johnson was running for re-election that November, Guyger's legal team said she was a "trial official" in the case and that she appeared in public "many times" and "appeared with other public officials and Mr. Jean's family" -- a conflict of interest and, they allege, a violation of the Sixth Amendment.

At this time, the murder trial is expected to begin Sept. 23 in Dallas County.

NBC 5's Don Peritz contributed to this report.

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