BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – DIRECTOR GENERAL of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Didicus Jules has expressed mixed emotions in the sentence handed down to Amber Guyger.
Guyger, an America police officer in Texas, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the shooting-death of unarmed St. Lucian national Botham Shem Jean in his apartment in 2018.
According to media reports, Guyger, who was Jean’s neighbour, lived on a floor below the young man and she had entered his apartment while he was seated eating ice cream.
She fired a shot which struck the 26-year-old in the heart.
In a statement issued on Wednesday (Oct. 2), the OECS said that “roughly one year since our Caribbean community was shaken by devastating news of the untimely and seemingly senseless murder of Saint Lucian national Botham Shem Jean, the state of Texas has delivered some degree of justice to Botham’s family”.
Jules said the tragedy of Botham’s death struck the core of the community, not only in St. Lucia but throughout the region and the Diaspora.
“While we acknowledge this sliver of justice that was served today, we continue to mourn with Botham’s family the loss of a promising son of our soil,” Dr. Jules lamented.
Jean, an accountant by profession, was mourned as a god-fearing guy.
Botham’s brother, Bertrum Jean, has been facing backlash for comments he made and a hug that reverberated around the world.
During his testimony, the younger Jean rose and gave Guyger a hug as she wept during sentencing, noting that he forgave her.
"I wouldn't want to see her rot in hell. I wouldn't want to see her rot in prison," Bertrum Jean said of Guyger, adding that he expected the sentence - far short of the maximum of life in prison - "could have been a little more".
Guyger will be eligible for parole after she would have serve five of her 10-year sentence.