Day one of the murder case of the former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was a test of patience for Judge Tammy Kemp
Day one of the murder case of former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger for the fatal shooting of her unarmed neighbor Botham Jean over a year ago in his own home was a patient test for Judge Tammy Kemp.
The district court staff veteran lost her patience at least twice during Monday's proceedings, starting from the moment she discovered that the Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot had violated a wage warrant the night before the trial began.
Creuzot discussed the Guyger case with a local TV news team with a fox branch KDFW, explaining why his office had decided to accuse Guyger of murder.
Guyger's defense lawyers informed Kemp of the situation prior to the start of the trial, while asking the judge to declare a mistrial.
& # 39; Oh, was there another interview last night? & # 39; Kemp asked.
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Guyger is a former Dallas police officer who is tried for murder after he fatally shot her unarmed black neighbor, Botham Jean, in his own apartment a year ago
Guyger was accused of murder in the first degree at the death of Botham Jean, who is punishable under Texas law with a life in prison
& # 39; Yes Your Honor, & # 39; one of Guyger's lawyers replied, leaving Kemp speechless for a moment.
The judge rolled her eyes, shook her head and growled as she turned in her chair to look at the back wall before she got up and bent over.
After she composed herself, she turned to check if she had heard the lawyers correctly.
& # 39; Let me be clear, & # 39; said Kemp, & # 39; last night, the evening prior to the start of this process, did our chosen DA conduct an interview about this process? & # 39;
Amber Guyger's defender informed Judge Tammy Kemp on Monday that John Creuzot, district attorney of Dallas County, violated a gagorder with a TV interview on Sunday
Dallas County DA John Creuzot discussed the Guyger case with a local TV news crew with fox branch KDFW, in which he explained why his office had decided to accuse Guyger of murder
The Guyger defenders argued that Creuzot had given a gag order to court officials and the judge insisted on a mistrial and change of location
After hearing the TV interview, Kemp briefly lost her temper before she got up, turned around, and composed herself
She eventually denied the lawyer's motion
The Guyger defender took the opportunity to reiterate her earlier request for a change of location, arguing that it was impossible for the former officer to get a fair trial in the county where almost residents have prior knowledge of the case thanks to the local media.
The judge asked the 12 jury members and four alternative jury members separately whether they had seen the Creuzot interview. They all confirmed that they had not seen it, nor any media coverage of the case since they were selected.
When a public prosecutor approached the court during the same hearing, the laptop of an unknown journalist began to blow loud music.
& # 39; OK. Wait a second. Wait a minute, wait a minute. Why do you have a laptop here? & # 39; Kemp shouted.
Jason Hermus, a prosecutor in Dallas, showed the bright red doormat that was outside Jean's apartment. For comparison, he said Guyger didn't have a doormat because he argued that she should have noticed that it wasn't her apartment
Allison Jean (right), the mother of Botham Jean and Botham & # 39; s brother Brandt Jean (left) arrive Monday for the murder trial of former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger in Dallas
A crowd of the Botham Jean family gathered Monday outside the courtroom on the opening day of Guyger's murder trial
& # 39; I'm so sorry, & # 39; the reporter replied.
& # 39; No, I asked you why do you have a laptop here? Are you a lawyer? & # 39; Kemp asked.
& # 39; No madam, & # 39; said the journalist.
& # 39; Give that laptop to the bailiff and you (bailiff) and you put it where you want to put it. I asked – I don't know how (much) clearer I can make it. & # 39;
& # 39; I'm so sorry, & # 39; said the journalist. Seconds later, the music from the laptop started to pop again.
Amber Guyger, 31, shot 26-year-old Botham Shem Jean exactly a year ago after he wrongly entered his apartment and thought it was her own
Guyger told the researchers that she accidentally entered Jean's apartment, which was one floor above her own, when she came home from work on September 6, 2018
Kemp told the bailiff to give her the laptop, which she took away and took back to her room before he reappeared some time later and issued a severe warning to everyone in the gallery.
& # 39; We are not going to repeatedly disrupt this process due to cell phones, laptops, and computers going off, & # 39; she said. & # 39; If your cell phone or laptop rings or I see it, I will confiscate it and keep it until this process is somehow completed. & # 39;
After Kemp dismissed the jury for that day, she told the prosecutor, including prosecutor Jason Hermus, to warn their boss, Creuzot, that the GAG order was given to the bailiffs who were directly involved also applied to him in the Guyger trial.
Guyger is a former police officer in Dallas who is tried for murder after he fatally shot her unarmed black neighbor, Botham Jean, in his own apartment a year ago.
Guyger did not have a duty but was still in uniform when she shot Jean in his house (upstairs) on the evening of 6 September 2018
She told the investigators that she confused Jean's unit with hers that night and confused him with an intruder in her house before she shot him.
Guyger was only arrested 72 hours later and subsequently charged with manslaughter.
The case led to anger across the country, particularly in the African-American community of Dallas, who saw it as a potential new copy of a white police officer who took light on killing a black man.
The Dallas police led by Chief U. Renee Hall, who is black, took two weeks to fire Guyger, despite her accusation of manslaughter after Botham's death.
After the kickback and a large jury investigation, Guyger was charged with murder in the first degree. The indictment is punishable under Texas law with maximum life in prison.
Guyger was fired after receiving a criminal charge.
Jury members must decide whether Guyger is guilty of murder, manslaughter, anything else or nothing at all in the shooting case. The process will resume on Tuesday morning.
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