There was a shriek, a hand clap and sobbing in a Dallas courtroom Tuesday when the verdict was announced in the fatal shooting of Botham Jean, 26.
Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger faces up to life in prison after a jury found her guilty of murder for fatally shooting her unarmed neighbor in his apartment, which she said she mistook for her own.
Jean’s mother threw her arms in the air when she heard the guilty verdict and another woman started to shout in praise before being silenced by a court officer, CNN reported.
Three days after the Sept. 6, 2018 shooting, Guyger turned herself in to the Kaufman County Jail and was charged with manslaughter. Her bail was set at $300,000. She posted bond and was released within an hour, according to Dallas Morning News.
The case triggered outrage and captured national attention. It took weeks of protests before Guyger was fired from her job at the Dallas Police Department on Sept. 24. Police Chief U. Renee Hall had said “local, state and federal laws” prevented her from firing Guyger, Dallas Morning News reported.
Chanting “no justice, no peace,” protesters stopped a Dallas City Council meeting on Sept. 12.
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Jurors had the option to find Guyger, 31, guilty of manslaughter, a lesser offense, but chose a murder conviction, which comes with a sentence of up to life in prison.
In her testimony, Guyger said that she parked on the wrong floor of her Dallas apartment complex, walked to the apartment directly above hers – which belonged to Jean, and fired when she found him there.
Jean’s attorney, S. Lee Merritt, tweeted at 8:33 a.m. that the jury had reached a verdict.
The verdict came after less than 24 hours of deliberation.
When the courtroom doors opened, people in the hallway applauded and cheered. Shouts of “Guilty! Guilty” and “Black lives matter” could be heard, according to CNN.