DALLAS - Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger appeared in court again Tuesday. Based on subpoenas that have been filed, prosecutors want to see her police training records.
Guyger is charged with murder for killing Botham Jean in his own apartment at the Southside Flats in September. She was coming home from work, still in uniform and said she believed she was in her own apartment. She claims she shot Jean thinking he was an intruder.
Prosecutors now want to know more about Guyger’s time in the police academy and the field training she received during her tenure with the Dallas Police Department.
The early proceedings are called announcement settings. Guyger is required to be present at each of the meetings.
News cameras greeted Guyger as she entered the Frank Crowley Courts Building and made her way to the seventh floor, wearing a light-colored suit and her hair down. She waited in an empty courtroom across the hall from where her trial will take place before Judge Tammy Kemp.
Defense attorneys could be seen taking documents in and out to Guyger, presumably for her to sign.
Daryl Washington, a civil attorney for Jean’s family, was also in court. He and Anthony Farmer, another defense attorney who is not involved in the case, are helping to explain what happens in the announcement settings.
“The purpose of an announcement setting is so that defense can get discovery,” Farmer said. “They can discuss with the state their theory of the facts and any outstanding extraneous issues can be fleshed out prior to any dispositive settings.”
Court records indicate prosecutors have filed subpoenas for Guyger’s training records from the Regional Training Academy and the Dallas Police Academy.
“They want to see if she's properly trained and to see if she had any deficiencies in any area… weapons training,” Farmer said.
Guyger’s attorneys filed a motion for production and inspection of the grand jury minutes. She was arrested and charged with manslaughter, but the grand jury indicted her on murder.
“I think one of the primary purposes, in this case, is to see how the grand jury went from manslaughter to murder to see if there's any defects in the state’s case presented to the grand jury,” Farmer said. “The defense is entitled to attack what the state did in front of the grand jury.”
Washington talked about the Jean family’s understanding of the United States Judicial process. They are natives of Saint Lucia.
“It’s difficult, as you can imagine. They are always contacted when there is a hearing that is scheduled,” Washington said. “They don’t understand that it may just be a simple exchange of discovery information.”
Judge Kemp imposed a gag order on the case keeping Guyger, her attorneys and prosecutors from talking about what’s happening.
Part of the judge’s effort is to keep the trial in Dallas County. She is anticipating that the defense will file a motion for a change of venue and doesn’t want to taint the jury pool.
Guyger's trial will likely begin later this year.