'I want the best for you': Botham Jean's brother hugs Amber Guyger after her sentencing

USA Today 2 months ago

It's a moment very rare in the annals of crime history: A man hugging the killer of his own brother in the courtroom where she was convicted, wishing her the best.

That's the scene that played out in a Dallas courtroom Wednesday. In the moments following the sentencing of Amber Guyger, the former Dallas police officer who shot and killed a black neighbor after she accidentally walked into his apartment, the victim's brother had forgiveness in his heart. 

Botham Jean was killed while eating ice cream in his own apartment, after Guyger mistakenly opened the door to his apartment and mistook him for an intruder. But his younger brother, Brandt Jean, didn't wish Guyger any ill will on Wednesday.

In fact, he wished Guyger nothing but the best and, holding back tears, he asked the presiding judge if he could hug the woman convicted of murder in the killing of his brother. Guyger, 31, was sentenced to 10 years in prison. 

"I don't know if this is possible," the 18-year-old said in a video of the moment posted by WFAA-TV's Mike Leslie, "but can I give her a hug, please? Please?"

After a pause, Judge Tammy Kemp said yes. 

Guyger and Brandt Jean embraced in the courtroom for nearly a minute. Kemp also hugged Guyger before she was led from the courtroom.

"If you truly are sorry, I know… I can speak for myself, I forgive you," he said before the hug. "And I know if you go to God and ask him, he will forgive you. 

"Again, I'm speaking for myself, not even on behalf of my family, but I love you, just like anyone else. I'm not going to say I hope you rot and die just like my brother did, but I, personally, want the best for you.

Sobs were audible throughout the courtroom as the two hugged and Kemp could be seen wiping tears away. 

"I wasn't going to ever say this in front of my family or anyone, but I don't even want you to go to jail. I want the best for you, because I know that's exactly what Botham would want you to do. And the best would be, give your life to Christ. I'm going to say anything else.

"I think giving your life to Christ would be the best thing that Botham would want you to do."

Contributing: John Bacon, USA TODAY; The Associated Press.


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ABC News › 2 months ago
Brandt Jean hugged Amber Guyger after he forgave her for killing his brother Botham Jean during her sentencing.
Business Insider › Lifestyle › 2 months ago
In a powerful courtroom moment, the brother of murder victim Botham Jean forgave and embraced the woman who killed him, former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger. Guyger was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison for Jean's murder. Guyger had...
CBS News › 2 months ago
A jury has sentenced former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger to 10 years in prison for the shooting death of her unarmed neighbor Botham Jean in his home last year. Jean's younger brother, Brandt Jean, addressed Guyger in court and forgave her with a...
New York Post › 2 months ago
In an incredible act of compassion, the brother of the man murdered by killer Dallas cop Amber Guyger hugged her and said he forgave her following her sentencing Wednesday. Brandt Jean asked a judge if he could hug Guyger, 31, while reading his victim...
The Hill › 2 months ago
The brother of Botham Jean, a black man who was murdered by former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger in his own apartment, embraced Guyger in court on Wednesday, telling her that he does not "even want you to go to jail"...
USA Today › 2 months ago
It was a moving moment when Brandt Jean asked the judge if he could hug Amber Guyger, the former Dallas cop who shot and killed his brother.
CNN › 2 months ago
More emotional testimony is expected Wednesday in the sentencing phase of the trial for former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, who was convicted of murder in the shooting death of Botham Jean.
BBC News › 2 months ago
Amber Guyger received a 10-year sentence for shooting dead Botham Jean inside his own apartment.
New York Post › 2 months ago
The brother of the black man murdered by white Dallas cop Amber Guyger says he hugged her at her sentencing Thursday because she “still deserves love.” Brandt Jean made headlines when he asked a Texas judge if he could embrace his brother’s...
CNN › 2 months ago
Sentencing former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger to 10 years for the fatal shooting of her neighbor, Botham Jean, was one of the hardest things jurors ever had to do, two of them told ABC's "Good Morning America."
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