On Monday, the trial began in the case of the murder trial of a former off-duty Dallas police officer charged with shooting and killing a black neighbor last year after the officer entered his apartment by mistake. And in an unusual move, the Judge on the case decided to sequester the jury on the trial.
Former officer Amber Guyger, who is white, has told investigators in Texas that she mistook Botham Jean, 26, for a burglar intruder after she mistakenly entered his central Dallas apartment one floor above hers and he appeared in the darkness. The shooting sparked protests, particularly because prosecutors initially moved to charge Guyger, 31, with manslaughter, a charge for killing without malice that carries a lesser sentence than murder.
Before opening statements were to begin on Monday afternoon, state District Judge Tammy Kemp sequestered the jury of four men and 12 women for the entirety of the trial, shielding them from possible outside influence and local news coverage of the case.
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