DALLAS — Attorneys for a white former Dallas police officer have filed an appeal of her murder conviction in the killing of her Black neighbor inside his home.
Amber Guyger is serving a 10-year prison sentence for the September 2018 fatal shooting of Botham Jean. She testified at trial that she mistook his apartment for her own and mistook Jean for an intruder when she entered and shot him.
In papers filed Tuesday with the 5th Texas Court of Appeals, her attorneys argue that the evidence presented at her trial last year was “legally insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Guyger committed murder.” They argue that Guyger had a “reasonable belief” that she was in her own apartment and there was an intruder inside, and that her mistake “negated the culpability of murder because although she intentionally and knowingly caused Jean’s death, she had the right to act in deadly force of self-defense.”
The appeal wants the Dallas-based court to overturn her murder conviction and sentence and order a new trial, or replace it with a conviction for criminally negligent homicide and order a new sentencing hearing. Criminally negligent homicide carries a maximum punishment of two years in jail.