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” and that he hopes she gives her “life to Christ.”
During Guyger’s Wednesday sentencing hearing, Brandt Jean spoke from the witness stand, ABC News reported. He said he hopes Guyger will “go to God” now that the trial is over.
“I hope you go to God with all the guilt, all of the bad things you may have done in the past,” Brandt Jean said. “Each and every one of us may have done something that we’re not supposed to do. If you truly are sorry — I know I can speak for myself — I forgive you, and I know if you go to God and ask him, he will forgive you.
BREAKING: In stunning moment, Botham Jean’s brother embraces Amber Guyger after her sentencing for his brother’s murder.
— ABC News (@ABC) October 2, 2019
Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday after being convicted on murder charges. She said she mistook Botham Jean’s apartment for her own before shooting him, thinking he was a burglar.
Brandt Jean also said at the Wednesday sentencing hearing that he did not “even want” Guyger to go to jail and that Botham Jean would “want the best” for her.
“I love you just like anyone else, and 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, and 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,” Brandt Jean said.
“I’m not going to say anything else. I think giving your life to Christ would be the best thing that Botham would want you to do. Again, I love you as a person, and I don’t wish anything bad on you,” he tearfully continued.
He then asked Judge Tammy Kemp, “I don’t know if this is possible, but can I give her a hug, please?”
Sobs were audible during the hearing as the two hugged.
For some, the moment conjured images of the hearing following the 2015 shooting in a Charleston, S.C., church, during which multiple relatives of victims who had died in the shooting told the gunman that they forgave him.
Kemp also embraced Guyger during the hearing and reportedly read her Bible scripture.
LIVE NOW: Judge Tammy Kemp hugs the family of Botham Jean as they are dealing with the sentence of 10 years given to Amber Guyger. Judge Kemp also reads a bible scripture and hugs Amber before she is taken into prison. https://t.co/yXMhgdY17j pic.twitter.com/bcaDjsko9O
— CBS 42 (@CBS_42) October 2, 2019
Botham Jean’s father, Bertrum Jean, also spoke at the Wednesday hearing, saying that he can no longer watch videos of his son singing.
“How could we have lost Botham — such a sweet boy,” Bertrum Jean said. “He tried his best to live a good, honest life. He loved God. He loved everyone. How could this happen to him?”