Allison Jean, the mother of Botham Jean, said she was surprised when her son, Brandt Jean, not only expressed pure forgiveness to her brother’s killer, but stepped off the stand after asking the judge for permission to hug Amber Guyger, her son’s murderer.
“What he did today, was remarkable, and he did it all on his own," said Allison in an interview with CBS News. "What Brandt did was to cleanse his heart towards Amber. I do not want it to be misconstrued as a complete forgiveness of everybody."
Allison described Guyger’s murder conviction as “justice," but declares there’s a “lot that has to be done by the Dallas Police Department, by the Texas Rangers, by the city of Dallas.”
Said the heartbroken mother, "His (Botham's) privacy was violated. She intruded on him and that was not enough. She killed him. If Amber Guyger was trained not to shoot in the heart, my son would be standing here today."
In a news conference after the sentencing conference, Allison called the untimely death of her son an incident that "changed my life, changed my family's life." Despite her heartbreaking loss, she will ultimately accept the jury's decision and attempt to move on with her life.
She added, "That 10 years in prison is for her (Guyger) to reflect and to change her life."
Social media was ablaze when ex-Dallas cop, Amber Guyger, was sentenced to only 10 years behind bars for murdering Botham Jean in his own home on September 6, 2019. Surprisingly, she will be eligible for parole after serving only five years. The unanimous sentence was handed down from the 12 jurors after only ninety minutes of deliberation. The amount of time that she will serve sent the Twitterverse into a firestorm as an angry public compared Guyger’s seemingly light sentence to other sentences, for people of color, who have received far more time for much smaller offenses.
The chaotic day in court turned emotional, the moment Brandt, Botham’s 18-year-old brother, expressed how he did not want the 31-year-old, Guyger, to go to prison, saying, "I love you like anyone else. I personally want the best for you. I wasn't going to say this in front of my family, I don't even want you to go to jail,” said the devastated Brandt. “I want the best for you because I know that's exactly what Botham would want for you. Give your life to Christ. I think giving your life to Christ is the best thing Botham would want for you.”
As Brandt hugged Guyger, courtroom attendees including the judge, attorneys and bailiffs began to emote at Brandt’s powerful act of forgiveness.
Another moment of scrutiny came when Judge Tammy Kemp, hugged the convicted murderer and gifted her with her own personal Bible, “You can have mine. I have three or four at home.
You just need a tiny mustard seed of faith. You start with this,” FOX News reported.
WFAA reports Judge Kemp, also told Guyger, “You haven’t done so much that you can’t be forgiven. You did something bad in one moment in time. What you do now matters."
Guyger’s guilty verdict carried a sentence that could range from 5 to 99 years, per the jury’s mercy. She received 10 years, although the prosecution asked for a sentence of no less than 28 years, symbolic because the late St. Lucia native would have turned 28 on September 29.
The former four-year police veteran, Guyger, was immediately turned over to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to begin her sentence. Although she was ordered to pay zero dollars in fines from the jury, she was fired from the Dallas Police Department.
CBS News reports Guyger’s attorneys are considering filing an appeal.
Photo: Stewart F. House/Getty Images