By Frederick H. Lowe,
Botham Jean’s neighbor who testified courageously and tearfully as a prosecution witness in the murder trial of former Dallas cop Amber Guyger, was found shot dead Friday night in Dallas.
Joshua Brown, who lived across the hall from Jean, died of multiple gunshot wounds, Lee Merritt, an attorney for the Jean family, wrote in a statement posted on Facebook. Brown feared that someone would murder him because of his testimony that led a 12-person jury to find Guyger guilty of the September 6, 2018 murder of Jean inside his fourth-floor apartment in the South Side Flats apartments.
Brown, 28, testified that he was down the hall from the apartment when he heard the voices of two people who sounded like they were meeting by “surprise” The gunshots followed “right after,” he said.
Looking through his apartment door’s peep hole, he could see Guyger walking, back and forth, while talking on the phone. Moments earlier, Guyger was on her phone telling an unnamed person she went to the wrong apartment.
Guyger claimed she walked in Jean’s apartment by mistake, thinking it was hers. She saw Jean and immediately assumed he was a burglar.
Guyger fired two shots at the unarmed Jean, hitting him in the chest and heart. She said she fired because he failed to obey her commands. Jean died from a wound to his heart at Baylor Medical Center. At the time of the shooting, Jean, an accountant, was sitting on his couch, watching television and eating ice cream.
Brown was visibly shaken by the shooting and cried during his testimony.
A jury sentenced Guyger to 10 years in prison, meaning she will be eligible for parole in five.
Dallas police responded to Brown’s shooting at the Atera Apartments around 10:30 p.m. Friday. The complex is 3.5 miles from the South Side Flats.
Witnesses said a silver four-door sedan was seen speeding away from the murder. Police don’t have a motive or suspects. An ambulance rushed Brown to Parkland Memorial Hospital where he died. Brown was not carrying any identification. Police could not immediately identify him. They later made a positive ID and notified a close relative.
The Dallas Police Department has not posted a statement about Brown’s murder and neither has the Dallas District Attorney.
In a statement to the Dallas Times Herald, Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall said the department will conduct a thorough investigation.
The execution occurred a few days after Hall announced she would launch an internal department investigation to learn the names of cops protecting Guyger who has made racist remarks about blacks.
Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Congressman Al Green and two 2020 presidential candidates demanded authorities find Brown’s murderer.