Key Witness In Trial Of Ex-Dallas Cop Who Killed Botham Jean Shot To Death
Joshua Brown lived across from Botham Jean and provided a key witness account at Amber Guyger’s trial in September.
By Carla Herreria HuffPost.com
The neighbor of Botham Jean, the 26-year-old man who was killed by a Dallas police officer in his own apartment, was shot to death, according to local reports.
Joshua Brown, who was also a key witness in former officer Amber Guyger’s trial, was gunned down at the South Side Flats apartment complex in Dallas on Friday night, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Brown, 28, died three days after Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison for fatally shooting Jean after she claims she mistakenly entered his apartment, which was one floor above hers.
Lee Merrit, the attorney for Jean’s family, also reported Brown’s death on social media, noting that he spoke with Brown’s mom and a medical examiner.
“His murder underscores the reality of the black experience in America,” Merrit said in a Facebook post. “Brown lived in constant fear that he could be the next victim of gun violence, either state sanctioned or otherwise.”
In a separate post, Merrit said that Brown’s mother “suspects foul play,” adding, “it is difficult to rule it out.”
“He had no known enemies. He worked for a living. He was not in the streets,” he wrote on Facebook. “We need answers. Immediately.”
Merrit didn’t immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
Brown died weeks after he testified at Guyger’s trial about what he heard and saw the day Jean was killed.
In his testimony, Brown said he heard what sounded like “two people meeting by surprise,” the Morning News reported at the time.
Brown also told prosecutors he had not heard Guyger say phrases like “put your hands up” or “show me your hands” on the night of the shooting.
He became emotional while giving his testimony after recalling how he used to be able to hear Jean singing gospel music from inside his apartment.
Merrit told CNN that Brown teared up during the testimony because he feared becoming a victim of gun violence, just as Jean had become.
“He said it could have been him,” Merritt said.
Brown went to college in southern Florida and had worked as a roofing contractor and manager for Airbnb rental properties, according to CNN.
Dallas County prosecutor Jason Hermus, who took the lead in Guyger’s case, commended Brown’s courage for speaking during the trial in an interview with the Dallas Morning News.
“He bravely came forward to testify when others wouldn’t,” Hermus told the paper. “If we had more people like him, we would have a better world.”