Patterico's Pontifications


Dallas Verdict In: Ex-Officer Amber Guyger Guilty of Murder; Sentenced to 10 Years

Filed under: General — JVW @ 7:54 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Yesterday afternoon a Dallas jury reached a guilty verdict in the charge of murder for ex-Dallas Police Department officer Amber Guyger. Returning home from duty on evening thirteen months ago, Ms. Guyger shot and killed Botham Jean, an accountant who was an immigrant from St. Lucia, whom she believed had broken into her apartment. Tragically, Ms. Guyger was entirely mistaken and had wandered into Mr. Botham’s apartment, located one floor above hers. Panicking, Ms. Guyger had called the police and her partner (with whom she had been having a clandestine affair) rather than rendering aid to the fallen victim, who died shortly after other officers arrived on the scene.

The trial, featuring a black victim and a white defendant, was in front of a predominantly female and minority jury. Ms. Guyger’s defense focused on how common it was for those apartment tenants to access the wrong floor from their parking garage, and argued that Mr. Botham had risen from his couch in a threatening manner which had caused Ms. Guyger to believe her life could be in danger. Ironically, the defense invoked the Castle Doctrine by asserting that it did not matter that it was not in fact Ms. Guyger’s apartment, the very fact that she believed it was her apartment was justification for her to defend herself.

Earlier this afternoon, the same jury sentenced Ms. Guyger to ten years incarceration. It is expected that she will serve five years before being paroled. The sentencing, which took the jury only an hour to determine (deliberations on the verdict had taken four hours), followed the usual victim impact statements and the guilty party’s opportunity to address the court.

The most poignant moment came when Brandt Jean, the younger brother of Botham Jean, made his statement. Speaking quietly and slowly, he told Ms. Guyger that he forgave her and loved her, and expressed hope that she would turn her life to the Lord and pray for salvation. At the end of the statement, he stunned the court by making an unusual request. Watch below (fast forward to 2:50 if you don’t want to watch the whole thing, but it’s worth spending the entire four minutes):

In a world of Trumps and Schiffs, we need more Brandt Jeans.


Sen. Sanders Takes a Break from Campaign to Tend to Heart Issues

Filed under: General — JVW @ 11:03 am

[guest post by JVW]

On the heels of the curious announcement yesterday that Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont had cancelled appearances and ad buys in key Democrat primary markets comes word today that the 78-year-old democratic socialist is undergoing surgery to have two stints inserted to hopefully clear up some arterial blockage in his heart. There is no word yet on when he will return to public appearances.

Along with the ground he seems to be losing to Elizabeth Warren, who thus far is successfully repackaging his putrid platform with sunny optimism instead of the Vermonter’s dour gloom, this reminder of Sanders’ advanced age would have to be considered a gut-punch to a campaign that is noticeably less enthusiastic than what we witnessed four years ago. Despite the campaign’s reminders of their candidate’s athletic past, and despite quirky video showing the near-octogenarian leading an active lifestyle, an old man undergoing a heart procedure doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in his long-term health. Sanders is three years older than Dwight Eisenhower was when Ike suffered a 1965 heart attack that pretty much brought to a close his public appearances.

Here’s wishing the rascally old Senator with all of his horrible ideas a full recovery and many more years ahead of him. But here’s also hoping that these years be spent in private life, away from the baneful effect his childish ideology has had on the American public.


Hmmmmm: Rudy Giuliani’s Clients Would Benefit Financially from the Investigation He Wants Ukraine to Restart

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:01 am

I know Trump superfans are all very upset about the total corruption of Hunter Biden, even though 99.9% of them could not begin to tell you what Burisma’s alleged crimes were, much less Hunter Biden’s alleged role in those crimes. (Hint: the Ukrainian crime under investigation was not having a $50,000 a month job, which is literally the only thing Trump partisans know about Burisma or Hunter Biden. It has to do with potential corruption by founder Mykola Zlochevsky, including tax evasion, money laundering, and misconduct in obtaining licenses for the company while serving as deputy secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council. But you knew that.)

It’s good to see that Trump superfans are totally concerned about people with ties to the U.S. government using those ties to further their personal interests, or the interests of people they represent. That’s how I know Trump superfans will totally be Very Concerned about this:

The hunt by President Trump’s attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani for material in Ukraine damaging to Democrats has put a spotlight on business ties he has had in the former Soviet republic for at least a decade, work that has introduced him to high-level Ukrainian financial and political circles.

Giuliani has said he has been working for free solely to benefit his client, Trump, as he has sought information from Ukrainian officials — an effort that has spurred a House impeachment inquiry into whether the president abused his power.

However, House investigators are now seeking records about Giuliani’s past clientele in Ukraine, including Pavel Fuks, a wealthy developer who financed consulting work Giuliani did in 2017 for the city of Kharkiv. That same year, according to court filings, Fuks said he was banned from entering the United States for five years. The documents do not specify why.

House committees have also requested documents and depositions from two of Giuliani’s current clients, Florida-based businessmen who have been pursuing opportunities in Ukraine for a new liquefied natural gas venture.

The men, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, have been assisting Giuliani’s push to get Ukrainian officials to investigate former vice president Joe Biden and his son and Giuliani’s claim that Democrats conspired with Ukrainians in the 2016 campaign.

A new liquefied natural gas venture. Hmmmmmmm. Does that sound familiar, Trump superfans?

Oooh! I know. Burisma is a natural gas company. In fact, the largest one in Ukraine.

And Rudy represents their competitors. Competitors who would stand to gain a lot if Burisma were criminally investigated in Ukraine.


Trump superfans, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to acknowledge that this appears to be corrupt find transparently unconvincing reasons to say “That’s different” and dig in to defend those reasons no matter how stupid and obviously false they prove to be.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

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