DALLAS — The Texas Rangers were brought into the investigation in the shooting death of Botham Jean by off-duty Dallas police Officer Amber Guyger.
The agency made the decision to charge Guyger with manslaughter. But the Dallas County District Attorney said the charge could be changed, as it will ultimately be up to a grand jury to decide the proper charge.
District Attorney Faith Johnson said she was part of a “spirited discussion” with investigators from the Texas Rangers.
“And I’m not challenging them on their viewpoint," she said at a news conference Monday morning. "I think they did a great job in preparing the investigation. But what I’m telling you is that now this case is in the hands of the Dallas County District Attorney.”
“We’re going to unravel whatever we need to unravel," she said. "We’re going to un-turn whatever we need to un-turn. And we’re going to present a full case to the grand jury of Dallas County. Believe me, we will make sure that justice is done in this case.”
Several times throughout the news conference, she provided reassurance that Guyger will be treated like any other suspect.
“My commitment is to make sure that there’s going to always be equal justice in this county, and that’s my commitment to this community," Johnson said.
Former prosecutor Aaron Wiley, who is not involved in the case, said Johnson recognized that the community needed answers and reassurance.
“She’s trying to address those concerns, she’s really trying to reach out to different segments of the community to calm them,” Wiley said. “It’s good to be a leader so you don’t have other people being a leader.”
Jean was shot inside his own apartment Thursday night. According to an arrest affidavit, Guyger parked on the wrong floor of her apartment complex. Police sources tell WFAA she had worked a more than 13-hour shift.
The arrest affidavit said Guyger walked to what she believed to be her apartment door, which was slightly ajar. According to the affidavit, when she put her key in the door, it opened further. The room was dark, the affidavit said, and she noticed a shadowy silhouette, which she believed was someone who had broken into her apartment.
The affidavit explains that when Guyger issued “verbal commands that were ignored,” she fired her gun twice. She then walked inside the apartment, called 911, turned on the lights and realized she was in the wrong apartment.
The affidavit was released publicly after Johnson’s morning news conference.
Jean’s family stood beside Johnson as she spoke, but later said they wanted more answers.
“The promise of transparency to this family has been a blank check,” attorney Lee Merritt said.
Johnson would not speculate about when the case will be taken to the grand jury.