An attorney for Botham Jean—the 26-year-old innocent black man who was shot and killed inside his own home—is looking to set the record straight. Despite several stories that Jean and his attacker, Amber Guyger, knew one another, attorney S. Lee Meritt claims that the two were merely neighbors as Jean lived directly above Guyger.
“The only connection we have been able to make is that she was his immediate downstairs neighbor,” Meritt said during an appearance on CNN, Tuesday. “And there were noise complaints from the immediate downstairs neighbors about whoever was upstairs, and that would have been Botham. In fact, there were noise complaints that very day about upstairs activity in Botham’s apartment. Botham received a phone call about noise coming from his apartment from the downstairs neighbor.”
According to the police affidavit, Guyger claims that she accidentally parked on the fourth floor of her building after working a 15-hour shift and walked to what she thought was her apartment to find the door ajar. She claimed in the affidavit that the lights inside the apartment were off and that she gave verbal commands before firing her service weapon, killing Jean.
Merritt told CNN that the official account in the arrest documents doesn’t make sense.
“Much of the affidavit just simply doesn’t comport with common sense,” Merritt said. “Typically I have some sort of theory as to what happened in this case, here I have no idea. I do know that certain statements within this affidavit are demonstratively false. For example, that door being ajar, those doors close automatically. Unless Botham propped it open because he was expecting a guest or something—and I’m making up excuses, it wouldn’t have been open. What the family knows, what all the friends know, what everyone I’ve talked to about Botham knows is that he wouldn’t have propped that door open.”
Merritt continued: “What happened is still a big mystery but what’s stated in this affidavit is simply untrue.”
Merritt also noted that the two witnesses who claimed to have heard knocks on Botham’s door and a female voice shouting, “Open up. Let me in,” before shots were fired are female roommates and neighbors of Botham.
Both roommates were home at the time, but one roommate was closer to the incident and told Merritt “the voice didn’t sound like an officer command; it sounded like someone who wanted to be let into the apartment,” the attorney said.
The woman also told Merritt that after the gunshots she heard a man’s voice say, “Oh my god. Why did you do that?”
Watch the full interview below: