According to reports, there was a mixture of boos and cheers outside of the courtroom.
Inside of the courtroom, Botham’s brother Brandt Jean hugged and forgave Guyger, saying:
I’m not going to say I hope you rot and die, just like my brother — I personally want the best for you…I wasn’t going to 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.
Then something strange happened: Judge Tammy Kemp came down from the bench, spoke and then embraced some of Jean’s family members. She then spoke with Guyger, gave her a Bible, and hugged her also.
The gesture had a highly divisive reaction on social media:
Jean’s parents had a more complicated reaction to Guyger’s sentence. Bertrum Jean, the father of Botham Jean, said he wanted a more severe sentence for Guyger. But, also added that he agreed with Brandt about forgiving her, saying “I don’t want to see her rot in hell. I don’t want to see her rot in prison.”
In an interview with CBS News, Botham’s mother, Allison Jean, said about Brandt forgiving her: “What he did today, was remarkable, and he did it all on his own…What Brandt did was to cleanse his heart towards Amber … I do not want it to be misconstrued as a complete forgiveness of everybody.”
In another interview, she also called out police corruption.
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