A Dallas County grand jury on Nov. 30 indicted former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger on a murder charge for fatally shooting PwC Associate Botham Jean in his apartment in early September.
After two days of hearing evidence this week, jurors voted this morning to upgrade the charge Guyger faces from manslaughter to murder. Guyger, 30, 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.
Shortly after 1 p.m. this afternoon, Guyger turned herself in to police in Mesquite, Texas, but she was released from jail sometime before 3:30 p.m. Her bond today was set at $200,000, the Dallas News reported.
The state district judge who has been assigned the case ordered Guyger to surrender her passport on Friday and not to travel outside the state without approval.
The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office announced the indictment at a news conference this afternoon, which was attended by Jean’s family and their attorneys. District Attorney Faith Johnson said it will be at least a year before Guyger’s trial begins, according to the Dallas News. Johnson was defeated in the midterm election by John Creuzot, a retired judge who will take over as district attorney on Jan. 1, 2019.
Botham Jean’s mother, Allison Jean, said during the news conference that she’s satisfied with the murder indictment.
Guyger “inflicted tremendous evil on my son,” Allison said, according to a CNN article. “He didn’t deserve it. He was seated in his own apartment. He felt safe and he was violated by her coming in and murdering him.”
Allison added that she hopes a proper penalty will cause Guyger to reflect on what she has allegedly done and the pain she has caused.
In a statement posted on Twitter, PwC U.S. Chairman Tim Ryan said:
“Today’s decision by a Grand Jury in Dallas is the first step in providing justice for our PwC colleague, Bo Jean. While this news will not ease the sense of loss so many feel, and many facts surrounding Bo’s death remain unknown, it does send a message that it is unacceptable for an individual to be shot and killed in their own home. At PwC, we are committed to keeping Bo’s legacy alive through how we live our values every day. We will also continue to keep him and his family in our thoughts and prayers.”
— Tim Ryan (@Timothy_F_Ryan) November 30, 2018
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.
Guyger’s attorney, Robert Rogers, told the Dallas News that he wasn’t surprised by the indictment, but he doesn’t believe the law supports a murder conviction in the case.
“Two innocent lives have been forever changed,” he said. “I feel for Botham Jean’s family, and I can’t imagine the pain they are going through. But when you look at the law, this was a tragic mistake.
“Amber Guyger felt she was in her apartment,” he added. “I don’t think there is any dispute to that. She was justified in her actions.”
The 12-member grand jury had heard evidence in the case on Nov. 26 and Nov. 28, but the panel did not vote until Friday.
Jurors could have indicted Guyger for manslaughter, murder or another charge, or they could have not indicted her on any charges at all.
A murder charge carries a punishment of up to life in prison; manslaughter carries a penalty of up to 20 years.