Amber Guyger’s Attorneys Seek to Move Murder Trial Out of Dallas County

Attorneys for Amber Guyger are seeking to have the case moved out of Dallas County.
Attorneys for Amber Guyger are seeking to have the case moved out of Dallas County. Harding University and Kaufman County
Attorneys for a fired Dallas police officer who shot and killed a 26-year-old man in his apartment are seeking to h ave her murder trial moved out of Dallas County.

Amber Guyger shot Botham Jean, an accountant from the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, on Sept. 6. Guyger, who lived in the same apartment building as Jean, told investigators that she mistook Jean's apartment for her own, found the door unlocked and thought he was a burglar. A Dallas County grand jury indicted Guyger on murder charges in November.

In a change of venue motion filed Monday, Guyger's attorneys argued that "hysteria and false narratives" make it impossible for the court to seat an impartial jury. They cite 297 articles about Jean's death and Guyger's arrest, including several they argue misrepresented the incident. In particular, her attorneys take issue with an episode of the daytime television program The View that aired Sept. 17, in which attorneys say "the hosts are engaged in speculation about the facts of the case."

"Never missing the opportunity to inject speculation and nonsense into a narrative, Whoopi Goldberg laments about a black man 'smoking (marijuana) while black' in his home and shouts to the audience, 'Now you understand why people are taking a knee!'" her attorneys wrote.

Prosecutors have not responded to the motion.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Sept. 6, which marks exactly one year since the shooting. Barring a delay, the trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 23.
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Silas Allen has been the Dallas Observer's news editor since March 2019. Before coming to Dallas, he worked as a reporter and editor at the Oklahoman in Oklahoma City. He's a Missouri native and a graduate of the University of Missouri.
Contact: Silas Allen