Closing arguments were Monday for Amber Guyger‘s murder trial, but there was a new development before they began. Judge Tammy Kemp has ruled that the defense can use “Castle Doctrine,” which allows people to protect themselves in their own home similar to the controversial Stand Your Ground laws. But Guyger clearly wasn’t in her own home when she killed Botham Jean on Sept. 6, 2018, while he was getting ready to eat ice cream and watch television in his living room.
“During a session, outside of the presence of the jury, defense attorneys and prosecutors argued over the language of the instructions the judge with provide to jurors,” CBS News reported. “It was during this session that Judge Tammy Kemp ruled the jury can consider the Castle Doctrine during deliberations.”
The Castle Doctrine is similar to the Stand Your Ground laws and allows a person to use “force (even deadly force) in the protection of a home, vehicle, or other property if someone attempts to forcibly enter or remove an individual from the premises,” according to CBS.
Kemp also ruled jurors may consider manslaughter when sentencing Guyger.
“I feel like at terrible person, I feel like a piece of crap… I wish he was the one with the gun and he killed me. I never wanted to take an innocent person’s life,” Guyger said in dramatic testimony last week. “I hate that I have to live with this every single day of my life. I ask God for forgiveness, and I hate myself every single day.”
At times, Guyger was sobbing so hard it was difficult to understand. Watch below.
“Jean’s family was largely stoic during a day of emotional testimony,” CNN.com reported. “Some occasionally shook their heads and whispered among each other and their lawyers.”
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.
She also admitted under aggressive questioning that she never once said during the 911 call that she was scared or that she thought he had a gun. She also admitted that she never said during the call that Jean was charging at her.