Chants of “no justice, no peace” drifted from the hallway into the the 204th District Court, and then Botham Jean’s 18-year-old brother stepped up to the witness stand Wednesday.
This was Brandt Jean’s chance to tell Guyger exactly what he thought of the former Dallas officer after she was sentenced to 10 years in prison for murdering his brother last year when she mistook his apartment for hers.
There were only two rules for his “victim impact statement”: no threats and no profanity.
What came next was a stunning moment that played out after many had left the courtroom and the world watched online. Even courthouse veterans wept at something they’d never seen before.
Jean took a breath into the microphone and began to speak. He hadn’t told his family what he planned to say, he told Guyger. He spoke for himself, not them.
“If you truly are sorry,” Jean said. “I know I can speak for myself, I forgive you.”
The prosecution had asked for 28 years — the age Botham would have been on Sunday had Guyger not shot him last September when she was off-duty but still in her police uniform.
Instead, Jean told Guyger that he wanted what Botham would have wanted.
“I think giving your life to Christ would be the best thing that Botham would want for you,” he told her. “I love you as a person, and I don’t wish anything bad on you.”
He told Guyger that he didn’t even want her to go to prison.
“Can I give her a hug, please?” Brandt asked. “Please.”
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