Convicted Killer Amber Guyger Gets Forgiveness, Hugs From Brother of Victim and a Bible From the Judge
The former police officer who shot a man in his home because she thought he was in her apartment received forgiveness and hugs from his brother after her sentencing Wednesday. She also received hugs and a Bible from the presiding judge.
After she was sentenced to 10 years for the murder of Botham Jean, Jean’s 18-year-old brother Brandt took the stand for his impact statement. His mind and heart were not on retribution.
Brandt told Guyger that he forgave her and if she asked God, she would be forgiven for killing Jean. He then told her he didn’t want her to go to jail because he wanted the best for her and “that’s exactly what Botham would want.”
And that “best thing” would be for her to give her life to Christ. “I love you as a person and I don’t wish anything bad on you.”
What happened next is almost too overwhelming to comprehend, but for the love and grace of God. Brandt nervously turned to the judge and asked if he could hug his brother’s murderer.
Watch the embrace that said more than a thousand sermons:
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
If tears weren’t flowing enough …
Jean’s brother wasn’t the only one to share the love of Christ with Guyger. The presiding judge, State District Judge Tammy Kemp hugged Guyger. According to Fox News, Kemp spoke to Guyger briefly, then left the room. She returned with a Bible that she gave to Guyger. “You just need a tiny mustard seed of faith,” she told Guyger. Then the two embraced. “You haven’t done so much that you can’t be forgiven,” said Kemp. “You did something bad in one moment in time. What you do now matters.”
The judge’s embrace of the convicted killer didn’t sit well with some who posted remarks on social media. Former ESPN host Jemele Hill sharply criticized the judge’s actions. “How Botham Jean’s brother chooses to grieve is his business,” Hill wrote on Twitter. “He’s entitled to that. But this judge choosing to hug this woman is unacceptable. Keep in mind this convicted murderer is the same one who laughed about Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination, and killing ppl on sight.”
How Botham Jean’s brother chooses to grieve is his business. He’s entitled to that. But this judge choosing to hug this woman is unacceptable. Keep in mind this convicted murderer is the same one who laughed about Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination, and killing ppl on sight. https://t.co/Nu5QGOIR1K
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) October 2, 2019
Some responded to ABC’s Twitter post by standing up for Brandt’s actions.
“He said it for the world to hear!” posted Kristin. “‘The best thing you can do is give your life to Jesus Christ!’ God just used this man in such a powerful way!”
He said it for the world to hear!
“The best thing you can do is give your life to Jesus Christ!”
God just used this man in such a powerful way!
— Kristin (@livingforjc) October 3, 2019
“This young man is LIVING the Gospel,” wrote Andrew Gill Smith. “Makes me embarrassed to think of the various petty grudges I have held in my life.”
This may be the best thing I have ever seen on the Internet. Not joking.
This young man is LIVING the Gospel. Amazing. Makes me embarrassed to think of the various petty grudges I have held in my life.
— Andrew Gill Smith (@andrewgillsmith) October 2, 2019