Dallas cop claims self-defense in apt. mix-up murder trial

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Dallas cop claims self-defense in apt. mix-up murder trial

Postby marvin8 on Wed Sep 25, 2019 3:55 am

Excerpt from "Former Dallas cop Amber Guyger claims self-defense as apartment mix-up murder trial begins:"
BILL HUTCHINSONSep 23, 2019 wrote:The trial of a white former Dallas police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man when she mistook his apartment for her own got underway Monday with a prosecutor telling a jury the officer fired first without making any effort to de-escalate the situation and a defense attorney countering that the exhausted officer made "innocent mistakes" that led her to fear for her life. . . .


Amber Guyger trial can be watched at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz8K1o ... EZw/videos.

Patel Fuller, PLLC
Sep 24, 2019

This is my pre-verdict opinion of the likely outcome of the Amber Guyger trial. Guger is a Dallas police officer accused of murdering Botham Jean:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wpQQKwbXD8
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Re: Dallas cop claims self-defense in apt. mix-up murder trial

Postby edededed on Thu Sep 26, 2019 4:55 pm

I don't really agree with the law's general lenience towards killers who were "afraid" or "drunk" or the like.
The result - somebody's death - is not undoable and is the worst possible result. That result in itself should have minimum penalties of some kind.
In other words, the severity of the result should be taken into account (which is objective and undeniable), not only the reasons for what happened (which are subjective and based on fragments of memory).
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Re: Dallas cop claims self-defense in apt. mix-up murder trial

Postby Steve James on Thu Sep 26, 2019 5:14 pm

But, nobody thinks there should be no penalty if someone mistakenly walked into a home and shoots the owner. Sure, anybody can make a mistake. Claiming it was self defense is just a way to rationalize a more lenient sentence. Unless we learn more, it was probably just an accident, but how much is a human life worth. If I run you or your wife down accidentally, I think you'd want the severest penalty.
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Re: Dallas cop claims self-defense in apt. mix-up murder trial

Postby marvin8 on Thu Sep 26, 2019 6:16 pm

Excerpt from "How will Amber Guyger’s attorneys defend her in murder trial for killing Botham Jean?"
Jennifer Emily on Sep 16, 2019 wrote:Responsibility vs. criminal conduct

If the jury finds Guyger not guilty of murder, jurors could then consider lesser charges, such as manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide. But they can only do so if Kemp (the judge) allows it and includes those charges in the instructions given to jurors when they begin deliberations.

At 7:28 - 13:46, attorneys discuss the various charges:

Law & Crime Network
Sep 26, 2019

The Daily Debrief with Aaron Keller: Should The State Have Even Brought This As A Murder Case?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teYvtQo4uVk&t=7m28s
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Re: Dallas cop claims self-defense in apt. mix-up murder trial

Postby Steve James on Thu Sep 26, 2019 6:53 pm

I think that any reasonable person sees the difference between shooting someone accidentally in one's own home and entering and shooting someone in his home. There's really no way to know if a shooting is accidental. How does anyone know that she had a beef with him? Also, from what I read, he didn't attack her, was unarmed, and posed no threat. Moreover, she entered illegally. Even if a mistake, it was illegal. So, she killed him during the commission of a crime.

The judge might also include charges such as reckless endangerment or depraved indifference. I wonder what the charges would be if he had shot her first.
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Re: Dallas cop claims self-defense in apt. mix-up murder trial

Postby marvin8 on Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:56 am

Steve James wrote:I think that any reasonable person sees the difference between shooting someone accidentally in one's own home and entering and shooting someone in his home. There's really no way to know if a shooting is accidental. How does anyone know that she had a beef with him? Also, from what I read, he didn't attack her, was unarmed, and posed no threat. Moreover, she entered illegally. Even if a mistake, it was illegal. So, she killed him during the commission of a crime.

By Texas law, there is no difference (castle doctrine). No, Mistake of Fact is not illegal. The burden is on the prosecution (the State) to disprove mistake of fact and self defense.

Steve James wrote:The judge might also include charges such as reckless endangerment or depraved indifference. I wonder what the charges would be if he had shot her first.

By TX law, he would not be charged. It's self defense under the castle doctrine.

Criminal defense attorney Pete Schulte explains TX law and legalities of the Guyger trial.

Published Sep 23, 2019 8:59 PM

Former police officer, prosecutor, and now criminal defense attorney Pete Schulte joined the Chris Krok Show to talk about the Amber Guyger trial; he doesn't think the prosecution has much of a case...
https://omny.fm/shows/chris-krok/chris- ... ber-guyger

Published Sep 24, 2019 8:52 PM

Attorney Pete Schulte joins Chris to analyze Day 2 of the Amber Guyger trial. Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata pulled Amber Guyger from a police car. Is this special treatment? What about the 911 call and body cam footage? Did Amber follow correct procedure? Pete and Chris answer these questions and more:
https://omny.fm/shows/chris-krok/chris- ... reaks-down

Criminal defense attorney Pete Schulte discusses TX law and legalities of the Guyger trial.

Published Sep 25, 2019 10:17 PM

Criminal defense attorney Pete Schulte joined the Chris Krok Show to talk about the third day of the Amber Guyger trial. He says the defense is doing a better job than the prosecutor so far...
https://omny.fm/shows/chris-krok/chris- ... guyger-tri

Published Sep 26, 2019 10:46 PM

The prosecution rested their case in the Amber Guyger murder trial, 4 days into what was supposed to be a two week trial. Attorney Pete Schulte says it's surprising they wrapped up their case so quickly...
https://omny.fm/shows/chris-krok/chris- ... tate-rests
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Re: Dallas cop claims self-defense in apt. mix-up murder trial

Postby Steve James on Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:12 am

I'm not really following the case. The only question is the penalty. It's unlikely that it'll happen again, so prison won't prevent anything.

Imo, if it was really an accident due to alcohol and weariness, knowing that you killed a totally innocent man would be punishment enough for anyone with a conscience. The penalty should be inversely proportional to her level of sincere remorse.
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Re: Dallas cop claims self-defense in apt. mix-up murder trial

Postby marvin8 on Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:29 am

Steve James wrote:I'm not really following the case. The only question is the penalty. It's unlikely that it'll happen again, so prison won't prevent anything.

Imo, if it was really an accident due to alcohol and weariness, knowing that you killed a totally innocent man would be punishment enough for anyone with a conscience. The penalty should be inversely proportional to her level of sincere remorse.

Amber had no drugs or alcohol in her system at the time, a police detective testified. Penalty should be proportional to TX law.

If the state doesn't disprove mistake of fact, Amber has a right to self defense in what she believed to be her own home (castle doctrine) no questions asked, no murder, manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide.
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Re: Dallas cop claims self-defense in apt. mix-up murder trial

Postby Steve James on Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:03 pm

The prosecution can't prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer did not believe that she was in her own apartment. I won't be surprised if it's adjudged an unfortunate accident. Though, I haven't suggested anything else or suggested she get 5-10 in prison. I doubt that many people won't believe that she acted reasonably. How a sober, trained officer mistook her own apartment is another question.

It is a good argument for having a shotgun ready to blast anyone unknown who comes through the door. You wouldn't be mistaking a fact then.
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Re: Dallas cop claims self-defense in apt. mix-up murder trial

Postby Ian C. Kuzushi on Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:17 pm

marvin8 wrote:
Steve James wrote:I'm not really following the case. The only question is the penalty. It's unlikely that it'll happen again, so prison won't prevent anything.

Imo, if it was really an accident due to alcohol and weariness, knowing that you killed a totally innocent man would be punishment enough for anyone with a conscience. The penalty should be inversely proportional to her level of sincere remorse.

Amber had no drugs or alcohol in her system at the time, a police detective testified. Penalty should be proportional to TX law.

If the state doesn't disprove mistake of fact, Amber has a right to self defense in what she believed to be her own home (castle doctrine) no questions asked, no murder, manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide.


Gee, wonder how the trial would unfold if the roles were reversed. ::)

She walked into her neighbour's house and wasted him. It's not like she accidentally ran him over. She pulled out her gun and shot him while he was eating a bowl of ice cream on his own damn couch.
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Re: Dallas cop claims self-defense in apt. mix-up murder trial

Postby marvin8 on Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:38 pm

Steve James wrote:The prosecution can't prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer did not believe that she was in her own apartment. I won't be surprised if it's adjudged an unfortunate accident. Though, I haven't suggested anything else or suggested she get 5-10 in prison. I doubt that many people won't believe that she acted reasonably. How a sober, trained officer mistook her own apartment is another question.

It is a good argument for having a shotgun ready to blast anyone unknown who comes through the door. You wouldn't be mistaking a fact then.

Well, it's up to the Dallas County jury (5 black jurors, 5 Hispanic/Asian, 2 white) to decide if the prosecution disproved "mistake of fact." It may end up a hung jury where the jury can't agree on a verdict.

Excerpt from "The State of Texas vs. Amber Guyger: Frequently Asked Questions:"
STEPHEN YOUNG on SEPTEMBER 20, 2019 wrote:What's Guyger's defense?

"She clearly, based on what we do know, has the defense of what we call mistake-of-fact," Schulte said late last year. "If she can show to a jury that her mistake-of-fact led to this and the jury finds that it was reasonable, then she's entitled to an acquittal, because our criminal laws don't want to criminalize accidents. That's for the civil courts."

What about the prosecution?

Barring the introduction of some surprise evidence, prosecutors will argue that the mistakes Guyger made were unreasonable. Jean had a red doormat at his door, Guyger did not. Guyger told police that Jean's door was ajar, but her key would not have opened his door lock if that weren't the case — and investigators obtained a warrant for data from the company that made South Side Flats' electronic door locks.


A ranger and residents have testified going to the wrong floor and apartment is not uncommon:
The Ranger noted that, during his investigation, he heard from several residents who went to the wrong apartment, particularly residents on the third and fourth floors.

Armstrong testified that he led a team that interviewed 297 of the 349 residents at the apartment complex, and 15 percent — 46 of those interviewed — had walked to the wrong floor and put their key in the door.

The percentage was higher for residents on the third and fourth floors, where 38 residents had gotten confused.
Last edited by marvin8 on Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dallas cop claims self-defense in apt. mix-up murder trial

Postby Steve James on Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:18 pm

A ranger and residents have testified going to the wrong floor and apartment is not uncommon:


Did the officer know that such mistakes were as common as that? Did Jean know?

Yes, a jury will decide. But, having been on a jury, I can say that the instructions will be to follow the law. The question is whether the prosecution can "prove" the charge "beyond a reasonable doubt." I couldn't say what the jury will decide that it's unreasonable for her to make the mistake. I haven't seen all the evidence, but that'd be the jury's problem.

What would you say?
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Re: Dallas cop claims self-defense in apt. mix-up murder trial

Postby marvin8 on Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:03 pm

Steve James wrote:
A ranger and residents have testified going to the wrong floor and apartment is not uncommon:


Did the officer know that such mistakes were as common as that? Did Jean know?

No. The apartment residents investigation was done later.

Steve James wrote:Yes, a jury will decide. But, having been on a jury, I can say that the instructions will be to follow the law. The question is whether the prosecution can "prove" the charge "beyond a reasonable doubt." I couldn't say what the jury will decide that it's unreasonable for her to make the mistake. I haven't seen all the evidence, but that'd be the jury's problem.

What would you say?

My guess is there will be a hung jury, given there are 10 minorities on the jury in Dallas county and the laws are a little confusing to the layperson. By TX law and prosecution's lack of evidence to disprove "mistake of fact," I believe Amber is not guilty.

The prosecution did not provide evidence or motive that Amber intentionally went to the wrong apartment and shot Jean in other than self defense. Other residents have made the same mistake of going to the wrong floor and apartment. Once someone is in your home, you have the right to defend yourself (castle doctrine).
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Re: Dallas cop claims self-defense in apt. mix-up murder trial

Postby Steve James on Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:35 pm

As I said, I doubt that she did it deliberately. Btw, she took the stand.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdbqwSFcyjE
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Re: Dallas cop claims self-defense in apt. mix-up murder trial

Postby grzegorz on Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:52 am

Seems to me that if an officer felt threatened they would call for back up. I think she made an honest mistake which was followed by many more mistakes. She should be convicted of man slaughter (at least) but I doubt she will.

I mean WTF! Could you imagine if she gets off and this becomes the new normal? That cops can knock on your door by mistake, shoot you down and say they simply felt threatened?
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