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Jury seated in trial of Dallas officer who shot man in wrong apartment

By
Danielle Haynes
Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger said she thought she was in her own apartment when she shot Botham Jean, an unarmed man whose apartment she entered. File Photo courtesy of the Kaufman County Jail
Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger said she thought she was in her own apartment when she shot Botham Jean, an unarmed man whose apartment she entered. File Photo courtesy of the Kaufman County Jail

Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Lawyers have seated a jury for the murder trial of a former Dallas police officer who fatally shot an unarmed man after she entered the wrong apartment.

Twelve jurors and four alternates were selected in a jury selection process that began earlier in the week and went late into Friday night. Lawyers started with a pool of 220 people earlier in the day.

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A grand jury indicted Amber Guyger in November on one count of murder for the shooting death of 26-year-old Botham Jean on Sept. 6. Her trial begins Sept. 23.

Guyger's lawyers filed a motion to have the trial moved outside of Dallas County, to a neighboring county. They said that due to media attention on the case, the jury pool in Dallas was tainted. Judge Tammy Kemp said the trial could still be moved even after jury selection was finalized.

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Guyger was off duty at the time of the shooting but was wearing her uniform when she entered Jean's apartment. She told police she thought she was in her own apartment.

Police said Guyger had just finished a 15-hour shift and got off the elevator on the fourth floor, instead of the third floor, where she lived. She then opened the door to Jean's apartment, which was unlocked.

The lights were off inside and when she saw a man's figure, she said thought her apartment was being robbed and opened fire. When she turned on the lights, she realized she went into the wrong apartment and killed a man in his own home, police said.

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The Dallas Police Department fired Guyger Sept. 24 after facing criticism for keeping her on the force amid an investigation. She was released from jail on $300,000 bond.

Jean's family also filed a lawsuit against the city of Dallas and the DPD, saying Guyger had a history of violence and excessive force.

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