Murder trial of fired police officer who killed unarmed black man to remain in Dallas

A judge has rejected a motion to move the trial of a fired Dallas police officer who killed an unarmed black man to another county.

Amber Guyger is charged with murder in the death of Botham Shem Jean, 26, who Guyger fatally shot Sept. 6, 2018, in Dallas. Guyger was fired from the Dallas police force after the shooting.

Guyger, who was in uniform but off duty at the time of the shooting, has said that she mistook Jean’s apartment for her own and thought he was an intruder.

State District Judge Tammy Kemp had previously said she wouldn’t make a decision about moving the trial out of Dallas County until after an attempt to select an unbiased jury had taken place. A 12-person jury panel and four alternates were chosen Friday.

Out of a jury pool that was whittled down from more than 400 Dallas County residents who filled out questionnaires, 10 of the 220 remaining members of the pool said they had never heard of the Guyger case.

Robert Rogers, Toby Shook and Michael Mowla — attorneys for the former officer — say “media hysteria” will not allow Guyger to have a fair trial. They requested the Sept. 23 trial be moved to Collin, Grayson, Kaufman, Ellis, Rockwall or Fannin County. Prosecutors opposed moving the trial.

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Mitch Mitchell is an award-winning reporter covering courts and crime for the Star-Telegram. Additionally, Mitch’s past coverage on municipal government, healthcare and social services beats allow him to bring experience and context to the stories he writes.