Amber Guyger won’t go to trial for killing Botham Jean in his own apartment until Aug. 12 — nearly a year after taking the 26-year-old’s life. Although everyone on the case is not allowed to speak to the media due to a court-issued gag order, court records revealed that Guyger may have gone on a Caribbean cruise after killing Jean.
The new report came after Guyger and her attorneys made a brief court appearance Monday.
Aside from learning the trial date, “[t]he state also subpoenaed the cruise ship company Royal Caribbean to submit records ‘pertaining to all cruises taken by Guyger’ between Sept. 23, 2018, and March 4, 2019; beginning two weeks after Jean’s death,” NBC News reported.
The subpoena could be damning for Guuyger on multiple levels. Not only could it allow prosecutors to portray Guyger as a carefree vacationer following what appeared to be a cold-blooded murder of an innocent man. It could also show Guyger violated the terms of her conditional release from jail.
“Beginning in November 2018, the judge stated Guyger was to surrender her passport to her attorney and was not to travel outside Texas without the court’s approval,” NBC reminded.
On Dec. 1, a grand jury finally indicted the former police officer with murder for killing Jean. She was booked into the Mesquite Jail and released way too quickly on a $200,000 bond.
Guyger claimed on Sept. 6, she implausibly mistook his apartment for her own and, after ordering Jean not to move, shot him twice before realizing the error of her ways. Her story was met with doubt because of a number of factors, especially her assertion that Jean’s door was ajar. Videos posted on social media by neighbors appeared to show that apartment doors in the building shut automatically, which seemed to indicate that Guyger was lying.
In addition to the inconsistencies in her alibis, which have changed several times, Dallas police, of which Guyger was a member for five years before being fired, appeared to be helping to cover up the shooting for their colleague. The department was accused of allowing Guyger enough time to scrub her social media accounts and get her story straight before turning herself in three days after killing Jean. It also gave Guyger enough time to move out of her apartment, which was never searched by police despite five warrants allowing them to do so.
Murder charges against a police officer are notoriously hard to prosecute. There are roughly 1,000 police shootings every year in the United States, but officers seldom face justice. According to CNN, only 80 cops were arrested on murder or manslaughter charges for on-duty shootings between 2005 and April 2017. However, only 35 percent of those arrests led to convictions in that 12-year period.
Let’s hope Botham Jean gets justice.