A defense attorney for a former Dallas police officer accused of fatally shooting a man who she wrongly believed was in her own apartment says the identical look of the apartment complex from floor to floor often led to confusion among tenants.
Amber Guyger's attorney, Robert Rogers, during opening statements of her murder trial Monday said dozens of people living at the complex reported regularly parking on the wrong floor or attempting to enter the wrong apartment.
Rogers says the floors of the parking garage were not clearly marked so it was understandable when Guyger, tired from a long shift, in September 2018 pushed open a door and believed an intruder was inside.
Dallas County assistant district attorney Jason Hermus has told jurors that former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was careless and distracted when she entered her neighbor's apartment and fatally shot him.
Guyger's trial began Monday for the September 2018 fatal shooting of Botham Jean, who went by the nickname "Bo." The court didn't release demographic details about the jurors, the vast majority of whom appeared to be women and people of color.
Hermus called Jean "a wonderful, decent, kind man" and said that he was eating a bowl of vanilla ice cream when Guyger entered his apartment.
Hermus told jurors that Guyger had worked a long day but that it was primarily office work. He suggested that Guyger became upset and distracted by a phone call with a colleague with whom she had been romantically involved. He said there is no evidence that Jean ever posed a threat to Guyger.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys spent Monday morning arguing over whether material from her cell phone could be admitted as evidence.
A prosecutor said Amber Guyger's cellphone messages on the day that she shot and killed Botham Jean included sexually explicit exchanges with her partner from the Dallas Police Department. The prosecutor said Guyger's partner would testify in the trial.
Prosecutors argue that the messages were relevant to showing Guyger's mental state before and after the shooting, while the defense argued that the material was not relevant and could be prejudicial.