Could data from Botham Jean’s door lock deliver a break in Amber Guyger case? Dallas DA hopes so

By Dallas News

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A resident passes flowers at the front door of Botham Shem Jean

(DALLAS NEWS) — The electronic locks to Botham Jean and Amber Guyger’s apartment doors could hold the evidence investigators need to contradict or confirm what the Dallas officer told police about how she entered her neighbor’s apartment the night he was shot and killed.

The Dallas County district attorney’s office seized the locks from Apartments 1478 and 1378 at the South Side Flats, where Jean lived on the fourth floor and Guyger lived on the third, just below him. She has since moved out.

Guyger, 30, killed Jean on Sept. 6 when she said she parked on the wrong floor and mistook Jean’s apartment for her own.

The officer, who was off duty but in uniform, said she pushed open the door to the darkened apartment and, believing Jean was a burglar, fired two shots.

One bullet struck the 26-year-old in the chest, and he died at a hospital.

A search warrant obtained Sept. 11 granted the district attorney’s office permission to pull any data stored inside the locks. Law enforcement also obtained reports about access to locks in both apartments and to the elevators. The contents have not been made public.

The report should show whether Guyger unlocked her own door before going to Jean’s apartment. It would also show whether she placed her key in Jean’s door.

It’s unclear whether the data would show whether Jean unlocked the door from the inside around the time of the shooting

If data stored inside the locks does show Jean’s door was locked, it would support statements by Jean’s family’s attorneys who say witnesses heard someone banging on Jean’s door shouting “let me in!”

Alternatively, the data could show the door was unlocked and ajar, as Guyger told police.

An electronic lock that resembles the ones at South Side Flats stores data on 200 entries, according to a description of the lock by the Swiss company Dormakaba. That lock, like the ones for Guyger’s and Jean’s apartment, is accessed with an RFID key — a key that uses radio-frequency identification.

Inserting the key into a hole above the handle unlocks or locks the deadbolt. The data stored inside, according to Dormakaba’s website, includes the time and date the lock was accessed. It also stores the identification number or user name of the person whose key was used.

So, the locks could reveal when Guyger and Jean’s doors were last locked and unlocked. The data could also show when Jean accessed his apartment last with the key.

The company did not respond to a request for comment about what additional information, if any, the locks could contain.

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