Botham Jean’s Brother Forgives and Hugs Former Dallas Officer During Sentencing

October 2, 2019 Updated: October 2, 2019

The brother of a victim shot and killed by a former Dallas police officer hugged her after she received a 10-year prison term for murder while saying that he forgave her.

Victim Botham Jean’s brother, Brandt Jean, was seen embracing convicted killer Amber Guyger, 31, on the afternoon of Oct. 2 following the sentence.

Brandt said that he forgave Guyger for killing his brother and loved her as he would any other person.

“I’m not going to say I hope you rot and die, just like my brother—I personally want the best for you,” Brandt Jean, 18, said, according to CBS News. “I wasn’t going to say this in front of my family or anyone, but I don’t even want you to go to jail. I want the best for you, because I know that’s exactly what Botham would want.”

Then, they hugged with the permission of the judge.

Amber Guyger
Former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger who was convicted of murder Tuesday, Oct. 1. (Dallas County Sheriff’s Department via AP)

Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot stated that his gesture was “an amazing act of healing and forgiveness that’s rare in today’s society.”

“In 37 years, I’m trying to go back in my memory bank to see if I’ve ever seen anything like that and I don’t think I have,” Creuzot said. “I think that young man was speaking with his heart.”

Creuzot said Brandt Jean’s words left many in tears.

“That man is 18, and he’s a leader,” Creuzot said. “He should guide us in healing.”

amber guyger
Fired Dallas police Officer Amber Guyger (center) arrives for jury selection in her murder trial at the Frank Crowley Courthouse in downtown Dallas on Sept. 13, 2019. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

After that, District Judge Tammy Kemp also apparently gave Guyger a Bible and hugged her, CNN reported.

“You can have mine. I have three or four more at home,” the judge told her. “This is the one I use every day. This is your job for the next month. It says right here. John 3:16. And this is where you start.”

Botham Jean at a Harding University presidential reception
Botham Jean leading worship at a Harding University presidential reception in Dallas on Sept. 21, 2017. (Jeff Montgomery/Harding University via AP)

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, following the incident, issued a statement saying he would “never, ever forget the incredible examples of love, faith and strength personified by Botham, Brandt and the entire Jean family.”

Guyger’s attorney asked jurors to show mercy, pointing to the good she did for people, including some who spoke at the hearing.

The basic facts of the shooting were not in dispute. Guyger, returning from a long shift that night, parked on the wrong floor and mistook Jean’s apartment for her own, which was directly below his. Finding the door ajar, she entered and shot him, thinking he was a burglar. He had been eating a bowl of ice cream before she fired.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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