Amber Guyger, the former Dallas police officer who was indicted on a murder charge late last year for fatally shooting PwC Associate Botham Jean in his apartment in early September, appeared at a Dallas County courthouse on Jan. 8, where a judge issued a gag order preventing attorneys from speaking publicly about the case.
According to the Dallas Morning News, State District Judge Tammy Kemp issued the gag order after meeting behind closed doors with Dallas County prosecutor Jason Hermus and Guyger’s attorneys, Robert Rogers and Toby Shook.
Observers believe the gag order is part of an effort by Kemp to protect the potential jury pool and prevent the trial from being moved out of Dallas County, the FOX affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth noted.
Guyger, 30, was not present during the closed-door meeting, and there was no proceeding in the courtroom, the Dallas Morning News reported. She left the courthouse without comment.
Daryl K. Washington, the attorney who represents the Jean family, said he was at the courthouse on Tuesday to be the “eyes and ears” for Jean’s parents, who live in St. Lucia, and his siblings. Washington told the Dallas Morning News:
“They’re very anxious right now, not being here in the states. They want to know what’s going on with the entire process, and my job is to keep them abreast.”
Guyger’s trial is not expected to begin for several months.
After two days of hearing evidence in late November, a Dallas County grand jury on Nov. 30 upgraded Guyger’s charge from manslaughter to murder. She turned herself in to authorities that afternoon and was released on $200,000 bond.
Guyger was arrested and charged with manslaughter on Sept. 9, three days after she killed Jean. She was released at that time on $300,000 bond.
Jean, a 26-year-old risk assurance associate in PwC’s Dallas office, was fatally shot in his South Side Flats apartment on Sept. 6 by Guyger, who had just gotten off shift and told authorities that she mistook his apartment for hers. She believed her apartment was being burglarized. Guyger lived in an apartment one floor directly below Jean’s apartment.
The Dallas Police Department fired Guyger on Sept. 24 for engaging in adverse conduct. She had worked at the department for nearly five years.