Ex-Police Officer Charged With Murder in Shooting Unarmed Neighbor

Ex-Dallas Cop Who Killed Man in ‘Mistaken Apartment’ Case Indicted for Murder

Former police officer charged with the murder of St. Lucian national

The ex-officer, 30-year-old Amber Guyger, was initially arrested in September on a manslaughter charge and released on bond after fatal shooting of 26-year-old Botham Jean.

Although she was arrested for manslaughter, the grand jury had the ability to keep that charge, change it to murder or not charge her at all.

Responding to criticism that the original manslaughter charge was too lenient, Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson said the grand jury could decide on the more serious charge of murder, which it did on Friday (local time). After a week of reviewing the evidence, however, the grand jury upped the stakes.

She said she gave several verbal commands to the individual, then drew her weapon and shot the man twice.

Johnson said murder constitutes someone "intentionally and knowingly" committing a crime, whereas manslaughter involves "recklessly doing something".

She said that prosecutors talked to more than 300 witnesses.

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She told police she opened the door of the unit she believed was hers and saw a "large silhouette", which she thought was a burglar, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Guyger said she realized she was in the wrong apartment when she flipped on the light switch.

FILE - This file photo provided by the Kaufman County Sheriff's Office shows Amber Guyger.

A former police officer in Dallas, in the southwestern USA state of Texas, was charged Friday with murder in the shooting death of her unarmed black neighbor. Critics, including Jean's family, also wondered why it took three days for Guyger to be charged, why she wasn't taken into custody immediately after the shooting and whether race played a factor in her decision to use deadly force.

Botham Jean's family was present when the new criminal charge was announced and spoke to reporters.

She turned herself in and has posted bond, according to Dallas County DA Faith Johnson.

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"She inflicted tremendous evil on my son, [and] he didn't deserve it", Botham Jean's mother, Allison Jean, said at a news conference Friday. "But we didn't file this case. but we did what we had to to get this case ready for the grand jury". Today's decision is another step on the long path toward justice for Botham.

Johnson estimated it would be more than a year before the Guyger case heads to trial. It took 16 months, Johnson said, for the case against Roy Oliver to go to trial. Fifteen-year-old Jordan Edwards was fatally shot. He was found guilty of murder.

Jean attended Sir Arthur Lewis Community College in St. Lucia, before migrating to the United States in 2011 to study accounting and management information systems at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. He attended college in Arkansas and had been working in Dallas for accounting and consulting firm PwC.

Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall emailed a statement to CBS 11 News that said in part, "Every person in the Dallas Police Department continues to feel anguish about this hard and tragic event that occurred on September 6, 2018".

The lawsuit argues that the police department did not adequately train Guyger, who had ended her shift prior to the shooting.

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