[Fox 4 News] A decision is expected Friday by a grand jury reviewing the case of an off-duty Dallas officer who shot a man dead in his own apartment.
Amber Guyger is currently charged with manslaughter, but that could change after a grand jury decides to make an indictment of murder, stay at manslaughter or make no indictment at all.
Attorneys for Botham Jean’s family expressed concern on Wednesday at how long the grand jury is taking to make a decision.
Defense attorney and former prosecutor Demarcus Ward, not part of Jean’s legal team, said he wouldn’t be concerned about the time its taking for a decision.
“I’m sure everyone knows that this was a big deal in Dallas. I think that the grand jury wants to be thorough and I think that the DA’s office wants to be thorough as well,” he said. “So it’s pretty normal that in a high profile case like this, there’s a lot more presented than normally is presented.”
But the Jean family attorneys upped the ante on Wednesday, saying if a murder indictment is not returned by the grand jury they would ask newly-elected DA John Creuzot for a do-over when he takes office in January.
“We would encourage District Attorney Creuzot to go back and get a proper indictment,” Jean family attorney Lee Merritt said. “Whether or not he’s able to do that would be a decision for his administration.”
While the letter of the law may not prevent the new DA from presenting the case to a different grand jury, a former assistant DA says it could set a bad precedent.
“The mere fact that you’re not happy with the results of an indictment, you don’t get to venue choose,” said former first assistant district attorney Heath Harris.
Harris, not involved in the case, said he feels the heart of what the grand jury must decide is what happened at the door of Jean’s Southside Flats apartment.
“It’s going to be up to the jury to determine whether her actions were reasonable and that has nothing to do with her being a police officer,” Harris said. “People may try to say, well, she has more trainin
g, more experience. She’s off duty, she’s going home and, you know, I don’t like it, a lot of people in my community may not like it, however, you know, we deal with facts here.”
The grand jury will reconvene on Friday morning at the Frank Crowley Courts Building.