DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Long before sunrise on October 4 former Dallas police officer and now convicted murderer Amber Guyger was released from the Dallas County Jail and turned over to oficials with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to begin her prison sentence.
It was an emotional week as jurors found Guyger guilty for the murder of Botham Jean, sentenced her to 10 years in prison and then the world witnessed compassion from the victim’s brother during victim impact statements.
Two members of the jury that convicted Guyger said the diverse panel tried to consider what the victim would have wanted when they settled on the sentence.
Prosecutors had asked jurors to sentence Amber Guyger to 28 years, which was how old her neighbor Botham Jean would have been if he was still alive. But one of the two jurors — a white man who wasn’t named by ABC News — said the jury was moved by testimony from Jean’s family and friends, who described his deep faith and caring nature.
“We all agree that (the shooting) was a mistake, and I don’t think Bo would want to take harsh vengeance,” the juror said, referring to Jean by his nickname. “I think he would want to forgive her.”
Guyger shot Jean inside his own apartment in September 2018 after working a long shift. She said she mistook his fourth-floor unit for her own, which was directly below his.
After convicting Guyger of murder, the jury could have sentenced her to anywhere from 2 to 99 years in prison. When the jury’s 10-year sentence was handed down Wednesday, a crowd outside the courtroom reacted angrily, believing it was too short.
The other juror who spoke to ABC News — a black woman — said her reaction when hearing prosecutors’ sentencing request was: “I can’t give her 28 years.”
“I know a lot of people are not happy about the 10 years,” she said. “But I felt like … this case was not like any other case.”
She drew distinctions between the death of Jean and those of other unarmed black men who have been killed by police in recent years.
“Those officers that killed unarmed black men, when they got out, they went back to living their lives,” she said. “Amber Guyger, ever since she killed that man, she has not been the same. She showed remorse and that she’s going to have to deal with that for the rest of her life.”
Texas officials would not say what facility Guyger was transferred to or where she will ultimately end up serving her sentence.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)