As the trial against Amber Guyger for the murder of Botham Jean continues, there might be a better chance for a balanced trial considering the makeup of the jury.
Jean’s family lawyer in the civil case, Lee Merritt, tweeted on Monday, “We are all relieved that the jury hearing the #AmberGuyger case reflects the diversity of Dallas County where the crime took place. From my estimation 5 black jurors, 5 Hispanic/Asian, 2 white (2 black & 2 white alternates).”
The diverse jury might not have been likely if the trial wasn’t taking place in Dallas. Initially, speculation suggested that the trial might be moved to a more suburban county that would’ve been less diverse.
However, District Court Judge Tammy Kemp ruled on Monday last week that there would not be a change of venue. During the jury selection process, Merritt was optimistic by the large turnout of possible jurors.
“We’ve seen more people here than I’ve ever seen in a courtroom responding to jury duty,” Merritt said. “There is just a huge response. There are just lines wrapped around the courtroom and that is a promising sight for the family.”
Now that the jury seems to reflect a diverse pool, the trial is continuing on as planned and it could bring hope to a case that would otherwise be a difficult win for the prosecution.
Guyger, an off-duty police officer at the time of Jean’s death, was charged with murder for her part in killing Jean in his own living room when she mistook him for a burglar and she mistook his apartment as her own.
So far, prosecutor Jason Hermus has unleashed a solid case against Guyger, arguing that she was texting back and forth with another officer, Martin Rivera, for a possible sex meet-up before Jean was killed. Hermus argued that this debunks Guyger’s argument that she was exhausted after work and that’s why she mistakingly entered Jean’s apartment.
People who’ve taken to the stand to testify so far include Jean’s sister, Alissa Findley, who defended the marijuana found in her brother’s house as a way he treated his ADHD.
Officer Rivera also took to the stand to confirm that he indeed had a sexual relationship with Guyger and her confirmed the sext messages they exchanged before Guyger entered Jean’s apartment.
For live updates of the trial, which is expected to last two weeks, you can check it out here.