The judge in the murder trial of a white Dallas police officer who fatally shot her black neighbor in his apartment blocked the lead investigator from telling jurors Wednesday that he didn’t think the shooting was a crime.
David Armstrong of the Texas Department of Public Safety testified for a second day in Amber Guyger’s murder trial, but jurors weren’t present when he shared his opinion that her actions were reasonable. Guyger has said she mistook Botham Jean’s apartment for her own.
“I believe that she did perceive him as a deadly threat,” Armstrong said while being questioned by the defense on the trial’s third day.
District Judge Tammy Kemp ruled that the jury couldn’t hear the Texas Ranger’s opinion of the reasonableness of Guyger’s actions. Last September, Armstrong signed an affidavit supporting Guyger’s arrest for manslaughter.
Guyger, 31, was off duty but in uniform when she shot Jean, 26, a native of the Caribbean nation of St. Lucia who worked as an accountant in Dallas. A grand jury later charged her with murder.
Prosecutors have said Guyger should have noticed she was on the wrong floor while Guyger’s attorneys have argued that she fired in self-defense based on the mistaken belief that Jean was a burglar.