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Dispatch From St. Lucia: Dallas Morning News Reporter On Botham Jean's Funeral, Family

botham_jean.jpg
Jeff Montgomery
/
AP
This March 24, 2014 photo provided by Harding University in Searcy, Ark., shows Botham Jean, speaking at the university.

It's been just over a month since 26-year-old Botham Jean was shot to death in his own home in Dallas.

Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger has been charged with manslaughter. Guyger, 30, she says she mistook his apartment for her own when she shot and killed him on Sept. 6. 

Jennifer Emily, who has been covering the story for The Dallas Morning News, recently attended Jean's funeral in St. Lucia and visited with his family.

She joined KERA to talk about her experience and the investigation.

Interview Highlights

On where the investigation stands

There are several investigations going on right now. There is the criminal investigation, which is being done by both the Dallas County District Attorney's Office and the Texas Rangers. But there is also the internal investigation being handled by the Dallas Police Department.

On the latest developments

Guyger was charged three days after the shooting with manslaughter and the case is still being investigated and it will at some point go before a grand jury, which will decide if the appropriate charge is manslaughter or murder, some other charge, or if she shouldn't be charged at all. 

On what Jean's family said in St. Lucia

They are so heartbroken, and there are no words that say enough about how heartbroken they are.

When I arrived they had his various trophies and medals from school sitting out on the coffee table to show me, and they just couldn't tell enough stories about what he was like as a kid, and the funny things he did. I think his mother called him a troublesome child, and you know we might say the child was a "little stinker."

They also just talked about what a good man he was and how they worked so hard to raise a good son and that they did raise a good son, and how they really felt like he was safe here in the United States and that they felt safe in the United States, but they don't feel like that anymore.

Interview responses have been lightly edited for clarity.

Justin Martin is KERA’s local host of All Things Considered, anchoring afternoon newscasts for KERA 90.1. Justin grew up in Mannheim, Germany, and avidly listened to the Voice of America and National Public Radio whenever stateside. He graduated from the American Broadcasting School, and further polished his skills with radio veteran Kris Anderson of the Mighty 690 fame, a 50,000 watt border-blaster operating out of Tijuana, Mexico. Justin has worked as holiday anchor for the USA Radio Network, serving the U.S. Armed Forces Network. He’s also hosted, produced, and engineered several shows, including the Southern Gospel Jubilee on 660 KSKY.