Killer cop Amber Guyger is currently being held at the same Texas prison that houses death row inmates and the woman who gunned down Grammy-winning singer Selena.
The 31-year-old fired cop is being held at the maximum security Mountain View Unit in Gatesville, about 120 miles south-west of Dallas, as part of the formal prison intake process.
A new mugshot that was taken after Guyger was sentenced last week was released late Monday by the Texas Department of Corrections.
Guyger is now serving a 10-year prison sentence for murdering her black neighbor, Botham Jean, in his apartment after mistaking it for her own.
The former Dallas cop is expected to be held at the maximum security prison for some time, prison officials told ABC News.
Several inmates, including high-profile ones who have attracted media attention, are held in protective custody at the prison.
Guyger is expected to be held in protective custody or solitary confinement given she was a former police officer and could be considered a target of other inmates.
There are about 650 women currently housed at the prison.
Among them is inmate Yolanda Saldivar – the woman convicted of murdering singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez in 1995. Selena was 23 when she was shot dead by Saldivar – the president of the singer’s fan club.
The slain singer has sold more than 65 million units worldwide, making her the best-selling female artist in Latin music history.
Another high-profile being held at the prison is Dallas housewife Darlie Routier who is on death row after stabbing her two young sons to death.
Diane Zamora, a former Naval Academy midshipman, is also serving a life sentence at the prison for the 1995 slaying of the high school girlfriend of her Air Force Academy ex-boyfriend.
Guyger was sentenced last week to a decade behind bars following her murder trial.
She was off-duty from the Dallas Police Department but still in uniform when she fatally shot Jean, a 26-year-old accountant, in his own home in September 2018.
Guyger said she mistook Jean’s apartment for her own, which was one floor below hers, and that she thought he was an intruder when she opened fire.
Prosecutors had urged the jury to give a punishment of no less than 28 years, which is how old Jean would have been if he was still alive. Guyger’s defense attorneys had asked them to show leniency because she believed she was in her own apartment and acted out of fear.
The trial made headlines, in part, because of the compassionate actions of Jean’s 18-year-old brother Brandt Jean and the judge presiding over the case.
Judge Tammy Kemp embraced Guyger and gave the cop her own personal Bible to take with her to prison soon after she was sentenced.
Kemp said on Monday that she watched Guyger change during the high-profile murder trial and couldn’t refuse her a hug. She admitted it was the first time she had handed a defendant her own Bible.
Kemp said she had never previously acknowledged her Christian faith to a defendant or given one a Bible, but Guyger had said she didn’t have one at the end of her trial.
She said she felt her actions were appropriate since the trial was over and the convicted killer had told her she didn’t know how to begin seeking God’s forgiveness.
Kemp said in an interview with Today that she was ‘trying to look at the person beyond the act’.
‘Your job is to do justice, to love mercy and walk humbly. So how can you not hug this lady? So we hugged. I felt somebody who was incredibly fragile,’ she said.
‘I think if we meet her with love and compassion, we might help her find that and then Botham Jean’s death would not have been in vain.’
‘She asked me if I thought that God could forgive her and I said, ‘Yes, God can forgive you and has,’ Kemp said in a separate interview with the Associated Press.
‘If she wanted to start with the Bible, I didn’t want her to go back to the jail and to sink into doubt and self-pity and become bitter. Because she still has a lot of life ahead of her following her sentence and I would hope that she could live it purposefully.’
Critics blasted Judge Kemp, who is black, calling her embrace of Guyger inappropriate and deeply offensive to the victim’s family.
They argued it was unethical of Kemp to hug Guyger and give her the Bible. One group asked for a judicial misconduct investigation, and some activists have said the hug took the focus off justified anger at a police killing.
Kemp said that Guyger asked twice if she could hug her and, after a moment’s hesitation, the judge wrapped her arms around her.
‘Following my own convictions, I could not refuse that woman a hug. I would not,’ Kemp said.
‘I don’t understand the anger. I guess I could say if you profess religious beliefs and you are going to follow them, I would hope that they not be situational and limited to one race only.’
The victim’s brother also stunned the courtroom after the sentencing when he asked Judge Kemp if he could give Guyger a hug.
Brandt then hugged his brother’s killer and told her he didn’t want to see her jailed.
‘If you truly are sorry, I forgive you. I know if you go to God and ask him he will forgive you,’ Brandt said to Guyger in the courtroom when he was allowed to deliver a victim impact statement.
‘I love you just like anyone else. I’m not going to say I hope you rot and die just like my brother did. I want the best for you. I don’t even want you to go to jail.’
The case was thrown into further disarray at the weekend when it emerged a key witness in the Guyger trial had been shot dead.
Joshua Brown was shot dead outside a Dallas apartment building on Friday night just days after he emotionally gave evidence during Guyger’s trial.
Brown, who lived in the same apartment building as Jean and Guyger, had testified about what he had heard that night.
Lee Merritt, an attorney representing Brown’s family, said his mother told him about her son’s reservations about his visibility in the high-profile trial.
In November, Brown was wounded in the foot in a shooting that left a 25-year-old man dead outside a Dallas nightclub.
‘He was concerned that the people who shot him there still wanted to do him additional harm,’ said Merritt, who also represents Jean’s family.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson and other officials have asked the public refrain from speculating about the killing of Brown while police investigate.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Emily Crane