Amber Guyger gunned down Botham Shem Jean in his own in Dallas home back on Sept. 6. Her trial, which has been delayed several times, will finally be on Sept. 23 — unless her lawyers will find another way to delay. That said, the judge presiding over the trial is a Black woman named Tammy Kemp.
District Judge Tammy Kemp is a Democrat and a former Dallas County prosecutor, on her second four-year term in the criminal court. According to Dallas News, back in January of 2018, Kemp “says she has reduced the number of people in jail awaiting court action from over 300 per month to about 100 monthly. She also sits on a committee of district court judges seeking bail reform, a positive move.”
When she was running for reelection last year, which she won, she was endorsed by the Dallas Black Criminal Bar Association.
Recently, the 911 call was released, which Botham Jean’s mother said the leak came from Guyger’s team to create sympathy. Dallas News reports during a a 12-minute hearing, Kemp grilled the attorneys about the release of the 911 call despite their being a gag order. She was “dismayed to find out the 911 call had been leaked to the media” and said the person who leaked it “lacked the integrity and the fortitude to honor” the gag order.
On Sept. 6, Guyger said that following a long day on the job as a Dallas police officer, 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.
Jury selections begins on Sept. 6, 2019, a year to the date from when Botham Jean was killed.