As Botham Jean’s friends and family move forward after Amber Guyger was sentenced to 10 years for his murder, Jean's church is echoing thoughts shared by his brother.
“If you truly are sorry, I know I can speak for myself, I forgive you,” Brandt Jean said, in a witness impact statement after the trial. “I know if you go to God and ask him, he will forgive you.”
One day after Brandt’s emotional words in the courtroom, Botham’s church leaders shared similar thoughts.
“I have no ill feelings toward Amber Guyger,” Dallas West Church of Christ Elder Emery Tease said. “If she came in here right now, to our service, I guarantee you she would be presented with love, respect, whatever it takes to build her up. We want the best for her.”
Tease said he's working to forgive Guyger.
“If you don’t forgive them, you keep yourself in prison, you keep yourself tied down, you're constantly thinking about it, constantly talking about it,” Tease said. “But when you forgive and let go, the love, the peace, and everything works out so much better.”
Wednesday night Jean’s mother attended a prayer service after Guyger’s sentence.
“What you saw (in the courtroom) was what Brandt has been taught – to love, to forgive,” Allison Jean said. “But I do not want us to mistake forgiveness with responsibility; person’s must take responsibility for their actions.”
Back in the church where Jean worshiped, Tease knows people will feel every emotion as they come to terms with the outcome, but he said the members of his church are walking a path toward forgiveness.
“They believe what the bible says and they are willing to go all sorts of extremes to do that,” Tease said.
More coverage from WFAA.com:
- 'You start with this': Judge Tammy Kemp gives Amber Guyger a Bible after sentencing
- Protests and prayers Wednesday night in the wake of Amber Guyger sentence
- Dale Hansen Commentary on Botham Jean and Amber Guyger: 'She would not have fired if he wasn't black. I don't think for a moment she shoots me'
- Amber Guyger sentenced to 10 years for the murder of Botham Jean
- Timeline: What has happened since Amber Guyger shot Botham Jean