The second day of testimony in the murder trial for former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, who is charged in the shooting death of her neighbor Botham Jean, began Tuesday. Jurors heard Guyger's 911 call following the shooting and watched the body camera video from a responding Dallas police officer.
Prosecutors played Guyger's 5 minute, 38 second 911 call in court Tuesday. On the call, Guyger is frantic, saying, "I thought it was my apartment" 19 times. She can also be heard telling a then-unresponsive Botham Jean, "I'm sorry."
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From the time Guyger made the call to the moment officers arrived at Jean's apartment, just over two minutes elapsed.
The body camera video of responding Dallas police officer Michael Lee was also played in court. Lee and his partner can be seen jumping walls and running upstairs, not yet knowing there was not an active shooter.
When they reach Jean's apartment, they briefly encounter Guyger who said again, "I thought it was my apartment." The two officers then begin graphic, intense resuscitation efforts on Jean, which continued until Dallas Fire-Rescue paramedics arrived. At one point, seconds after arriving, Lee's partner can be heard saying, "he's breathing." Lee testified Jean had a pulse, but was unresponsive.
"If you open a door and realize someone's inside, you have two choices, presume you can safely re-position or shoot and figure it out later, what do you,' Assistant District Attorney Jason Hermus asked.
"Cover and conceal," Lee said.
"Because of sanctity of human life?" Hermus asked.
"Yes," Lee responded.
Controversy arose Tuesday when prosecutors alleged Guyger received special treatment following the shooting. The defense objected to the showing of video they said captured Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata instructing Dallas police Sgt. Breanna Valentine to turn off the in-car recording system inside the patrol car that would transport Guyger.
After a lunch recess, the video was not shown to jurors.
However, prosecutors played Valentine's body camera video which they said shows Guyger texting on her cell phone in the hallway while paramedics performed CPR on Jean in his apartment.
Prosecutors also showed video of investigators using Guyger's key fob on the wrong door, similar to what would've happened the night of the shooting. In the re-enactment, the key wouldn't turn, driving home the prosecution's point that Guyger should have known she was at the wrong apartment.
In opening arguments, defense attorney Robert Rogers said the metal portion of Jean's door was defectively installed, which caused it to bow out when it's humid. Jean's door, he said, closed, but didn't latch.
Three of Jean's neighbors also took the stand and testified they never heard Guyger yell commands for Jean to show his hands.
Judge Tammy Kemp called a brief recess when neighbor Joshua Brown grew emotional after he recalled hearing Jean sing gospel music and Drake every morning.
Afternoon testimony continued with Texas Ranger David Armstrong, who was one of the Rangers that investigated the shooting and ultimately recommended a charge of manslaughter in the case.
Armstrong testified about the electronic lock audit reports for both Jean and Guyger's apartments and confirmed for prosecutors when the doors to both apartments were either locked or unlocked on the day of the shooting.
Armstrong said the audit report did not contain any information about when an incorrect key was placed in the lock.
Before the conclusion of testimony on Tuesday, Armstrong confirmed for prosecutors that "continuation of life" comes second to "crime scene integrity" when officers respond to a call and need to treat an injured person. This was established to explain how or why some items were seen in different places between when the officers first entered the apartment compared to when investigators went in.
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Source/Credits: Larry Collins, Jack Highberger, NBC 5, Attorney Firms