Murder trial of former Dallas officer pauses until Monday

DALLAS (AP) – The jury deciding the fate of a former Dallas police officer who shot and killed her unarmed black neighbour heard around five minutes of testimony on day six of the trial before being sent home.

Amber Guyger, 31, who is white, is on trial for murder after she fatally shot 26-year-old Botham Jean, an accountant who was alone in his apartment when she came through his front door thinking it was her own.

On Saturday, before the jury was seated, former Dallas police chief Craig Miller was called by the defence as an expert witness to testify about temporary condition called “inattentional blindness,” which he said is not universally accepted in the scientific community.

He said he thought Guyger was justified in shooting Jean, based on “the totality of the evidence.” The judge ordered that he wouldn’t be allowed to say that in front of a jury, but will allow him to testify to a narrow range of issues related to officer distraction.

On Friday, Guyger testified that she mistook Jean’s fourth-floor apartment for her own, which is one floor below. She said she parked on the wrong level of the apartment complex, and walked into the unlocked door thinking it was her own.

She says she killed Jean in self-defence, mistakenly thinking he was a burglar in her apartment who would harm her.

“I hate that I have to live with this every single day of my life and I ask God for forgiveness, and I hate myself every single day,” Guyger told the jury.

AmberGuygerappears at the Frank Crowley Courts Building in Dallas. PHOTO: AP