Jury selection has begun in the high-profile murder trial for a former Texas police officer who fatally shot her upstairs neighbor in his own apartment last year.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that more than 500 prospective jurors were summoned to the Frank Crowley Courts Building in Dallas on Friday—on the one-year anniversary of Amber Guyger’s fatal shooting of Botham Jean, 26, inside his apartment. Judge Tammy Kemp barred reporters from sitting in on Friday’s proceedings due to overcrowding.
Indicted late last year, Guyger, 31, claimed she shot Jean in his apartment after mistaking his unit for hers. She reportedly told police that she had finished a 15-hour shift when she parked her car on the fourth floor of her apartment building, instead of on the third floor where she lived.
Guyger reportedly said the door was slightly ajar when she placed the key into the keyhole, causing the door to open further. Documents stated that she claimed she saw a “large silhouette” and gave it verbal commands before opening fire, fatally wounding Jean in his torso.
While officials denied the media’s requests for the 911 call Guyger placed on the night of the shooting and Jean’s autopsy report, the September 6 call was leaked in late April.
In the 911 call, Guyger can be heard telling the dispatcher that she thought she was in her apartment and mentioning that she will lose her job. Guyger was fired from the Dallas Police Department several weeks later.
KXAS reported that Judge Kemp instructed the 219 excused jurors not to speak to the media. The court is aiming to have selected twelve jurors and four alternates by September 13.
The news station noted that Judge Kemp is still expected to decide on whether the venue will be changed. In July, Guyger’s attorneys asked the court to move the murder trial out of Dallas due to the amount of media attention the case has received.
Ongoing coverage on the Botham Jean case can be read here.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Listen to a related episode:
[Featured Image: Botham Jean/Facebook; Amber Guyger/Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office]