The white Dallas police officer who fatally shot her black neighbor was distracted by sexually-explicit text messages and made a "series of unreasonable errors" when she mistakenly entered his apartment, according to prosecutors.
Dallas County Assistant District Attorney Jason Hermus contended during the first day of Amber Guyger’s murder trial on Monday that she was preoccupied by a conversation she was having with her partner who also happened to be a former lover.
Hermus said that Botham Jean was in his living room eating a bowl of vanilla ice cream on Sept. 6, 2018 when Guyger entered his apartment, which was located directly above hers.
“No opportunity for de-escalation, no opportunity for him to surrender. Bang, bang. Rapid,” Hermus told the jury in the Dallas courtroom, according to ABC News.
Guyger had worked a 13-hour shift and was planning to meet a lover later that night, according to the prosecutor. Hermus said that she sent a Snapchat messsage to Officer Martin Rivera at about 9:30 p.m. which read, “wanna touch,” according to the Morning News. Earlier in the day, she texted Rivera that she was “super horny today,” according to the prosecutor.
She was also on the phone with Rivera while driving home. Hermus said that when the call ended at 9:55 p.m., Jean had “less than three minutes to live,” according to the Morning News.
The prosecutor argued that it should have been clear to Guyger that she had parked on the wrong floor of the garage. She lived on the third floor, and parked on the fourth.
“She walks past 16 different apartments and fails to register the number 4 on any one of them,” Hermus said, according to the Morning News.
Rivera testified Monday that he flirted with Guyger, but maintained they were no longer lovers.
“Teasing, mainly,” he said, according to the Morning News.
Rivera admitted having a 16-minute telephone conversation with Guyger as she headed home, but denied making plans to meet her later that night.
A defense lawyer rejected the prosecution’s argument that it should have been obvious to Guyger that she was on the wrong floor. Robert Rogers said the identical look of the apartment complex from floor to floor led to confusion among tenants.
“What was going through Amber’s mind was just, ‘I’m going home,’” Rogers said, according to the Morning News. “‘I’m done with my day of work, I’m exhausted and I’m going home.’ ”
Her lawyers claim she fired in self-defense based on the mistaken belief that she was in her own home.
“'Why is he yelling at me? Why is he coming at me? Why is the display of my gun not working? He must have a weapon,'” Rogers told the jury as he said what he believed was in Guyger’s mind, according to the Morning News. “He must want to kill me because I caught him burglarizing my apartment, and he’s getting closer.'"
The jury, which has been sequestered, will have to decide whether Guyger committed murder, a lesser offense such as manslaughter or no crime at all.
With News Wire Services