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(DALLAS NEWS) – The parents of the man killed in his own apartment by a Dallas police officer said Tuesday that they are comforted and satisfied with the Dallas County district attorney’s investigation into his slaying.
“They have been quite thorough in their investigation,” said Allison Jean, mother of Botham Jean told The Dallas Morning News. “I’m comfortable that all of the evidence and the work that they have been doing throughout the investigation will lead to what is the right thing.”
Allison and Bertrum Jean flew to Dallas from their home in the Caribbean island of St. Lucia and met with District Attorney Faith Johnson about the case against Amber Guyger.
Guyger, 30, was off-duty but in uniform Sept. 6 when she shot Jean. She and Botham Jean lived in the same Cedars apartment building and Guyger said she mistook his apartment for her own and thought he was a burglar.
The Jeans, who have been critical of the time it took for Guyger to be arrested and with the charge that she faces — manslaughter — did not provide details about Tuesday’s meeting with the DA.
The Texas Rangers arrested Guyger on a manslaughter charge three days after their son’s death. The Jeans and many Dallas criminal attorneys believe murder is a more appropriate charge because Guyger intended to shoot Botham Jean. In Texas, manslaughter is a reckless act.
The district attorney’s office is preparing to present the case to a grand jury and will recommend what charge Guyger should face at trial.
Johnson said that during Tuesday’s three-hour meeting, she and her staff brought the Jeans up to speed on the investigation. Johnson declined to discuss details, but said her office has spoken with more than 200 witnesses and plans to interview more.
“We’re trying to make sure justice is done,” Johnson said. “I said, ‘Mom do you want us to stop and go to the grand jury?’ And she said ‘no, keep going.'”
Botham Jean was 26 and worked as an accountant for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Dallas after graduating from Arkansas’ Harding University in 2016. He planned to one day return to St. Lucia and run for prime minister.
He lived on the fourth floor in apartment 1478 of the South Side Flats. Guyger, an officer for four years, lived in the apartment below his. He was watching football when Guyger came to his door and shot him once in the chest.
Guyger told police the door to Jean’s apartment was unlocked and ajar. His family says he would have locked his door. They also question Guyger’s account and have doubts that she mistakenly went to the wrong apartment.
Investigators from the district attorney’s office seized the electronic locks from both apartments that will either corroborate or contradict what Guyger told police.
Police Chief U. Renee Hall fired Guyger on Sept. 24, the same day Jean was buried in his home country of St. Lucia.
The Jean family plans to file a civil suit against the city of Dallas. Their attorneys, Lee Merritt and Daryl Washington, said Tuesday that they are focusing on Guyger’s training. They said that even though the shooting happened while Guyger was off-duty, they regard it as an officer-involved shooting. In the beginning, Dallas police treated it as such.
“A lot of the focus has been on Amber Guyger,” Washington said. “There’s not enough focus on the Dallas Police Department.”