By Victor Omondi
Botham Jean’s family has decided to sue the apartment complex where he was fatally shot dead by a former Dallas police officer, Amber Guyger. The family attorney last Friday said that the family was planning to file the lawsuit against South Side Flats where their son was killed in his own apartment.
Attorney Lee Merritt in his statement pointed out that the apartments layout contributed greatly to the death of Jean. The upper floors and the faulty door mechanism are all factors that brought the confusion that directly led to Jeans death in September 2018. Officer Guyger shot Jean, 26, in his own apartment after she thought it was hers. Guyger was charged of murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
There was no response from employees at the complex regarding the lawsuit. All questions were referred to the corporate owner, who’s the Chicago-based Waterton Residential and regional manager.
An investigator testified to the fact that the complex had a layout that created circumstances that contributed to the unfortunate incident. The investigator said during Guyger’s trial that Jeans door was defective.
And that checked with what Merritt has highlighted in his statement. He said, “It wouldn’t shut all the way, if it had shut all the way, Amber Guyger wouldn’t have been able to get in.”
According to the Dallas News, “Jean lived on the fourth floor, while Guyger lived directly below. She said she thought she was trying to get into her own apartment at the time. Upon entering, she believed she was confronting a burglar, both she and one of her attorneys said at trial.”
Jean lived directly above Guyger on the fourth floor. During the trial she said she thought she had entered her own apartment when the door sprang open. When she entered and realized there was someone inside, she assumed that she was being robbed. She, therefore, implemented her training and believed she was confronting a burglar. And when Jean, who was also in shock seeing someone walk into his apartment and got up to confront Guyger before shooting him dead.
The family is set to file a very strong suit against the complex if some of the past testimonies are anything to go by. Merritt said, “During the trial, something like 70 percent of the people on the third and fourth floors said that they’ve gone to the wrong floors before.”
The complex management is yet to give an official comment o the matter.