DALLAS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The mother of former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger took the stand during the sentencing phase of her daughter’s murder trial.
Karen Guyger, 66, who suffers from a lung disease called pulmonary fibrosis, was visibly emotional during her testimony.
When asked about the night Amber Guyger called to tell her she had shot and killed Botham Shem Jean, Karen responded, “She was very upset. I couldn’t understand her because she was crying so hard.”
Karen said Amber has remorse for killing 26-year-old Jean.
“She wanted to take his place. She feels very bad about it,” she said.
Karen spoke about Amber’s childhood.
The youngest of three children, Amber “loved playing outside and made friends quickly.”
But at the age of six, that changed.
Karen Guyger revealed that her daughter was molested by Karen’s boyfriend named Joe. He was arrested for indecency with a child and pleaded guilty.
Now convicted of murdering her neighbor in his own home, Amber could spend the rest of her life in prison.
In Texas, the penalty for murder is anywhere from five years to life in prison.
But Judge Tammy Kemp said Wednesday that jurors will receive written guidance on the law regarding a so-called “sudden passion defense.”
If the jury accepts that Guyger’s actions were taken in the heat of the moment, it could reduce the sentencing range to two to 20 years.