Former police officer charged with the murder of St. Lucian national

Sammie L. Berry speaks as church members stand with the family of Botham Shem Jean

Sammie L. Berry speaks as church members stand with the family of Botham Shem Jean

A grand jury in Texas has indicted a white former Dallas police officer for murder over the killing of her unarmed black neighbour after she allegedly mistakenly entered his apartment and shot him.

"We have taken the position from day one that we want to make sure that justice is done for everybody and it's equal justice, it's not one-sided or it's not blinded", Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson, whose prosecutors provided evidence to the grand jury, said at a news conference.

Johnson would not give details of the secret grand jury proceedings, but says physical evidence and witness testimony convinced jurors it was a case of murder and not manslaughter. If convicted, she faces up to life in prison. A manslaughter charge would have brought a sentence of up to 20 years.

Jean's death ignited outrage in Dallas and around the country as questions about Guyger's version of events piled up and officials didn't take her into custody for days after the shooting.

She was arrested days after the September 6 shooting that killed her 26-year-old neighbor Botham Jean, who was from the Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia, attended college in Arkansas and had been working in Dallas for accounting and consulting firm PwC.

The attorneys for the Jean family, who are representing them in the federal lawsuit they filed against Guyger and the city of Dallas, have said they are hopeful for a murder indictment.

Robert Rogers, Guyger's attorney, was disappointed but not surprised by the indictment, given what he called an "outpouring of vindictive emotion" in a statement late Friday.

Ex-Dallas Cop Who Killed Man in ‘Mistaken Apartment’ Case Indicted for Murder

Though each apartment required a "unique door key, with an electronic chip" to gain access, Jean's front door was "slightly ajar" when Guyger arrived and it opened "under the force" of her entering her key, the affidavit states.

Her office, Johnson said, took its time before seeking an indictment in the case to ensure that it could paint the best possible picture of the shooting to the grand jury. Amber Guyger felt she was in her apartment.

Allison Jean also said that the unusually long grand jury process was nerve-wracking but she found comfort in the thorough presentation by the DA's office. Instead, she was at Jean's door. When she turned on the lights, she realized she went into the wrong apartment and killed a man in his own home, police said. Jean worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers and hailed from Saint Lucia.

After the shooting, Guyger's blood was drawn to be tested for alcohol and drugs, according to Hall.

21, 2017 file photo provided by Harding University in Search, Ark., shows Botham Jean leading worship at a university presidential reception in Dallas.

"This is groundbreaking, but it is also just a start", family members told reporters, explaining that a grand jury indictment "doesn't mean the case itself will be a slam dunk".

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