Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger got emotional on the witness stand Friday, as she testified in her own defense in the murder trial for the fatal shooting of Botham Jean.
According to Dallas News, during the fifth day of her murder trial, Guyger sobbed while giving her testimony. She informed the court of her deep remorse about fatally – and she maintains accidentally – shooting Jean in his apartment near downtown Dallas on Sept. 6, 2018.
Guyger maintained that she entered the wrong residence and mistook the 26-year-old for an intruder. Her defense characterized the the shooting as “tragic, but innocent,” and she was physically shaking on the witness stand after describing the moments before entering the apartment that night.
“I was scared whoever was inside of my apartment was going to kill me, and I’m sorry,” Guyger said through tears. “I have to live with that every single day.”
Guyger also offered that she wishes she could trade places with the victim, who was asleep and not armed at the time of the incident.
“I feel like a horrible person, I feel like a piece of crap. I hate that I have to live with this every single day. I feel like I don’t deserve a family. I hate myself,” she testified while appearing to look directly at Jean’s parents. “I wish he was the one that grabbed the gun and killed me. I never wanted to take an innocent person’s life. And I am so sorry. This is not about hate. This is about being scared.”
Despite the courtroom theatrics, Allison and Bertrum Jean stayed stoic throughout the testimony, seemingly unmoved by her pleas.
Dallas County prosecutor Erin Hendricks, who is not connected to the case, believes the jury’s perception of Guyger is critical in this headline making case.
“Do they believe her? Do they like her? What if they don’t like her, but they believe her?” Hendricks asked rhetorically. “Their perception of her in that moment — might be even more important than what they’re perception of her is in the courtroom at council table.”