Trial begins for former Dallas cop who fatally shot neighbor


A white Dallas police officer went on trial Monday in the shooting death of a black neighbor as attorneys sparred over whether the officer was distracted by a phone call when she mistook the neighbor's apartment for her own and the victim for an intruder.

Following the backlash and a grand jury investigation, Guyger was charged with first-degree murder.

"I haven't accepted it yet", she said.

The outcome may hang on whether the jury believes that Guyger's mistake was reasonable, according to legal experts.

Guyger was only arrested 72 hours later and then charged with just manslaughte.

A grand jury indicted her past year on a murder charge, something Guyger's attorney attributed at the time to the political pressure of the moment.

Opening arguments are slated to begin Monday.

The apartment was dark, so she turned on the lights while she was on the phone with 911.

Guyger, who had been on the force for over four years, walked into Jean's apartment after returning from a work shift and was able to enter it because Jean's door was slightly ajar, according to Texas law enforcement officials.

"I thought I was in my apartment".

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"Guyger believed she was in her apartment and confronted by a burglar when she fired her handgun, striking and killing him", cops wrote.

He said if the judge refuses to instruct the jury on the Castle Doctrine, Guyger is likely to be convicted.

Sergeant Michael Mata spoke as Guyger's murder trial was set to get underway Monday. She claimed he ignored her. Guyger fired twice, hitting him once in the torso. Reached last week, he declined to comment further, citing a gag order.

During pretrial proceedings, prosecutors and defense attorneys clashed over whether those messages should be entered into evidence.

Jean, who was raised in St. Lucia, worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers' Dallas office.

As jury selection began in Dallas on the first anniversary of the trial, Jean's family in St. Lucia chose to devote the day to good deeds.

However family members of the deceased told the U.S. television network that they are praying for a conviction.

Jean's mother, Allison Jean, 52, told CNN: "My hope for the trial is for my son to get justice ... that the person who inflicted harm on him gets punished for the crime that she committed".

"We're always taught to ask God for exactly what you want, so this is what I want: I want justice for Botham", said his sister, Allisa Findley, 37, who lives in NY.

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