DALLAS - Fired Dallas police officer Amber Guyger showed up for a court hearing Monday morning.
It's the first day of a scheduled two-day pretrial hearing. Guyger's defense team wants a judge to allow certain witnesses who can speak to her good character.
Last year, Guyger claimed she went into an apartment thinking it was her own. She shot and killed her neighbor, Botham Jean, who she said she thought was an intruder. She was a Dallas police officer at the time.
The main focus of the hearing is to decide whether character trait evidence will be allowed in the murder trial.
Friends of Botham Jean and his pastor were in court, but none of them spoke and instead listened to the judge and attorneys.
Six assistant district attorneys make up the prosecution team that's headed by Jason Hermus. He entered into evidence the gun Guyger used to shoot and kill Jean. Hundreds of crime scene photos were also entered into the record a month before the trial gets underway.
The defense made a motion to include witness testimony or evidence to potentially boost Guyger's character, aiming to argue she's not capable of committing murder.
Other factors that could likely play into the prosecution and defense in the trial are the circumstances surrounding the killing, the relationship between Guyger and Jean before his death and possibly Guyger's mental condition at the time of the shooting.
Attorney Russell Wilson is in private practice now and in no way connected to this case. But as a prosecutor, he headed up the division that investigated officer involved shootings.
"There may be some questions regarding the admissibility of all of the photographs and there may be some questions regarding forensic testing that was or wasn't done on the weapon and the projectiles," Wilson said. "
Ronnie "Bunny" Babbs has given the world its only glimpse of the on-the-phone and pacing Guyger minutes after the shooting. She shared her story with the online site, Advance Media Network.
"I did hear the actual shot," she recalled "And that's what prompted me to go outside and actually start recording the video."
Defense Attorney Micheal Mowla submitted to the court several affidavits concerning Babbs and a GoFundMe page she created.
"That might be information that they intend to use to try to impeach her testimony or other statements that she has made," Mowla said.
Judge Tammy Kemp asked both sides to provide proposed jury charges to her. The jury charge is the set of rules jurors should follow when deliberating guilt or innocence. The judge wants to have it in advance so that it is ready for jurors when testimony ends.
"The court has not made a decision as to whether or not potential jurors will be sequestered or not, but I don't want to waste time pulling together a charge," Kemp said.
The trial will stay in Dallas for now. Guyger's attorneys had asked for a change of venue, claiming the publicity surrounding the emotionally charged case would prejudice the jury pool. But the judge is withholding her ruling on that request until the jury selection process begins.
Jury selection is set to begin on September 6. A panel of 4,000 people will be summoned to the courthouse
Judge Kemp hoping to find 12 jurors and four alternates by September 13. The trial is right now set to begin September 23.