Former Dallas cop Amber Guyger broke down in tears as she took the witness stand Friday on the fifth day of her murder trial, claiming she never meant to kill Botham Jean inside his own apartment more than a year ago.
“I wish he had the gun and had killed me,” she said of her slain neighbor. “I never wanted to take an innocent person’s life.”
Guyger’s testimony marks the first time she has publicly addressed the fatal Sept. 6, 2018 shooting, which she insists was an accident.
Gugyer, fresh off a 13-hour shift and still wearing her uniform, said she mistakenly entered the South Side Flats apartment thinking it was hers, then fired off two shots at Jean, who she believed to be a burglar.
“I thought it was my apartment. I thought it was my apartment,” she told a dispatcher more than 20 times in a 911 call played for jurors earlier this week and again on Friday.
The 31-year-old fired cop testified Friday she heard shuffling inside the unit and that she was “scared as crap” when she saw a figure pacing around inside what she believed to be her home.
“I had my gun pointed and I said, ‘Let me see you hands,’” she recalled, adding that she pulled the trigger only when Jean approached her. “I was scared he was going to kill me."
Defense attorneys called the shooting a “tragic but innocent” mistake in their opening statement, and argued Guyger’s fear justified her response.
Prosecutors said Guyger’s emotional testimony Friday was a far cry from the way she acted after the shooting.
If convicted, Guyger faces up to 99 years behind bars.