87th Texas Legislature

‘Bo's Law': Botham Jean Act Introduced in Texas Legislature

Lawmakers propose changes to Texas' 'Castle Doctrine'

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A proposed law named for Botham Jean, the man fatally shot by a former Dallas police officer in his own home, would clarify the state's Castle Doctrine, which allows people to use force to defend their homes.

The Botham Jean Act, or "Bo's Law," was introduced Monday by Texas Rep. Carl O. Sherman Sr. (D-Lancaster) and aims to add penalties for anyone turning off dash or body camera recordings during an investigation.

During Guyger's trial, her defense argued the Castle Doctrine applied because Guyger believed she was in her own home -- even though she was mistakenly on the wrong floor.

The bill would require a person who uses the Castle Doctrine defense to be physically in their own residence, vehicle, or workplace -- not to merely believe that they were.

Botham Jean’s mother, Allison Jean, said she supported Bo’s Law and that the legislation offered a “tangible” action following her son’s murder.

A proposed law named for Botham Jean, the man fatally shot by a former Dallas police officer in his own home, would clarify the state’s Castle Doctrine, which allows people to use force to defend their homes.

"Bo's law is not for Bo," Allison Jean said. "It's for every one of you."

Dallas County District Attorney John Cruezot said the change in the Castle Doctrine would fix an important issue.

"This law clarifies what everyone assumed already existed," he said. "You should be in your own house when you claim this defense."

Meanwhile, Botham Jean's mother criticized the city of Dallas for not agreeing to settlement talks -- even though a judge dismissed the city from the family's lawsuit in 2019.

"To this day we have not received a call to sit at a table with the city of Dallas," Allison Jean said. "Something has to be wrong. It makes me feel like my son died like a dog."

In response, a spokesman for Mayor Eric Johnson issued a short statement.

"The Jean family has an open invitation from the mayor's office to discuss policy issues," the statement said.

On Sunday, a portion of Lamar Street in Dallas was dedicated as Botham Jean Boulevard in his memory.

NBC 5's Scott Gordon contributed to this report.

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