This Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019, booking photo provided by the Dallas County Sheriff's Department shows former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger. Guyger, who shot her black unarmed neighbor Botham Jean to death after, she said, mistaking his apartment for her own, was convicted of murder Tuesday. (Dallas County Sheriff's Department via AP)

The Latest: Jury could weigh smaller sentence for Dallas cop

October 02, 2019 - 8:18 am

DALLAS (AP) — The Latest on the trial of a former Dallas police officer convicted of murder in the shooting death of her neighbor inside his apartment (all times local):

10:15 a.m.

The judge in the trial of a Dallas police officer convicted of murder for killing her black neighbor in his home says the jury will get instruction on a legal defense that could reduce the officer’s sentencing range.

The jury convicted Amber Guyger of murder Tuesday in the September 2018 killing of Botham Jean. In Texas, the penalty for murder could be anywhere from five years to life in prison.

But Judge Tammy Kemp said Wednesday that jurors will receive written guidance on the law regarding a so-called “sudden passion defense.”

If the jury accepts that Guyger’s actions were taken in the heat of the moment, it could reduce the sentencing range to two to 20 years.

Guyger says she shot Jean after mistaking his apartment for her own, which was directly below. She was fired after the shooting.

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9:35 a.m.

Court has resumed in the punishment phase of the trial of a white Dallas police officer who was convicted in the fatal shooting of her black neighbor last year.

Judge Tammy Kemp began the Wednesday’s proceedings by allowing Amber Guyger to attend the hearing without shackles on her ankles. Guyger was booked into jail after Tuesday’s proceedings concluded.

The punishment phase began Tuesday after jurors convicted Guyger of murder in the killing of her neighbor, Botham Jean. The slain accountant’s family members and friends spoke of how his death affected them.

Guyger, who could be sentenced to anywhere from five years to life in prison, says she mistook Jean's apartment for her own, which was directly below his. Her attorneys can argue that she deserves a light sentence because she acted out of confusion and fear that she had found an intruder.

Guyger was fired after the shooting.

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12:25 a.m.

The same jury that convicted a white Dallas police officer in the fatal shooting of her black neighbor will soon return to court to consider her sentence — a penalty that could be anywhere from five years to life in prison.

Amber Guyger said she mistook the man's apartment for her own. She was convicted of murder Tuesday. Her defense attorneys can argue that she deserves a light sentence because she acted out of confusion and fear that she had found an intruder.

Prosecutors have given no indication what sentence they will seek.

It was unclear how long the punishment phase of the trial would last. Testimony began shortly after the verdict, starting with friends and family of the victim, Botham Jean.