Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger appealed her 2019 conviction in the murder of Botham Jean on Tuesday. Local news reported that her defense team planned to argue that the convicted murderer who shot and killed the 26-year-old unarmed Black man inside his own apartment should have been charged with criminally negligent homicide.
Guyger’s attorneys filed a notice to file an appeal shortly after her conviction. Sentenced to 10 years in prison, Guyger could be released from prison if the appeal is decided in her favor.
Jean’s mother recently told CNN in an interview that Guyger should serve out her sentence and pay the consequences for her actions.
“Amber Guyger needs to sit where she is in prison and accept responsibility for what she did to my son, my family, my country, my world,” Allison Jean said from her native St. Lucia.
She specifically requested the Court of Appeals in the Fifth District of Texas to overturn her conviction and apply the lesser included charge. In the appeal filed last August, defense attorneys argued the state failed to meet its burden on a finding of murder.
Part of their argument turns on the assumption that it was reasonable for Guyger to use deadly force to defend herself against a person she assumed was an intruder even though Jean was eating ice cream at the time.
The state has raised a cross-issue regarding a jury instruction given at the original trial regarding a mistake on appeal. The state argues that Guyger’s alleged mistake in entering the wrong apartment does not change the outcome or intent of her action when she shot and killed Jean.
Guyger previously admitted at trial she intended to shoot to kill and shot twice to “maximize the lethality.” The state contends that her mistake of entering the wrong apartment did not negate the intent in killing the person inside. Therefore it was inappropriate for a jury instruction to be given at the 2019 trial.
Guyger maintains she mistook Botham’s apartment as her own when she shot him in 2018. At Guyger’s initial trial, legal counsel claimed that the former officer was defending herself when she shot Botham, who was eating ice cream on his couch. Based on this mistake, she and her lawyers believe the murder conviction was incorrect.
A jury of Guyger’s peers rejected the mistaken self-defense claim at trial, and now her attorneys want a panel of appellate judges to replace the jury’s verdict with their own determination. A finding of murder under Texas law requires providing beyond a reasonable doubt a person intentionally or knowingly caused the death of an individual, and intends to cause serious bodily injury, and commits an act clearly dangerous to human life that causes the death of an individual.
Three justices will make up the panel hearing Guyger’s appeal: Chief Justice Robert D. Burns III and justices Lana Myers and Robbie Partida-Kipness. The judges will hear arguments and issue a written decision at a later date.
A Disturbing Timeline Of Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger Killing Botham Jean In His Own Home
1. August of 2018
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Botham Jean leading worship. This is who Amber Guyger killed. pic.twitter.com/NDv2zFoj1p— DJ Wade-O (@djwadeo) September 14, 2018
2. September 6, 2018Source:false 2 of 40
3. September 9, 2018Source:false 3 of 40
4. September 10, 2018Source:false 4 of 40
5. September 11, 2018Source:false 5 of 40
6. September 12, 2018Source:false 6 of 40
7. September 13, 2018
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Yesterday, I attended the funeral of Botham Shem Jean. It was one of the most moving experiences I have ever had. Botham was a man of God, a graduate of Harding University, a worship leader, and a brother in Christ. We shared the same city and the same small religious tribe. pic.twitter.com/5BxQyxPgaM— Collin Packer (@collinpacker) September 15, 2018
8. September 14, 2018Source:false 8 of 40
9. September 18, 2018Source:Radio One 9 of 40
10. September 21, 2018
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The Prime Minister of St. Lucia speaks out on the Botham Jean case.https://t.co/PnuaNzywEh— NewsOne (@newsone) September 21, 2018
11. September 24, 2018Source:false 11 of 40
12. September 26, 2018
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RIP Botham Shem Jean. He was a 26-year-old black man from St. Lucia who was shot and killed in his own apartment by a white Dallas police officer Thursday night. The officer reportedly faces manslaughter charges. https://t.co/50TnpC1Gb9 pic.twitter.com/shRJnkBcxK— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) September 8, 2018
13. September 29, 2018
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Today would have been Botham Jean's 27th birthday. We need to keep his name alive. We need police officers to be transparent, and we must remove biases from their ranks. We can't turn away from America's history of racial divisions, but we can pave a different path forward. pic.twitter.com/0ZfIZ8F1xv— Rep. Marc Veasey (@RepVeasey) September 29, 2018
14. October 5, 2018Source:false 14 of 40
15. October 17, 2018Source:false 15 of 40
16. October 17, 2018Source:false 16 of 40
17. October 19, 2018
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Botham Jean’s Mother On The Trump Administration: ‘Some People Just Don’t Care About Lives’ https://t.co/OROFcCf6kN— @pyramidfire (@pyramidfire) October 19, 2018
18. October 22, 2018Source:false 18 of 40
19. October 22, 2018Source:false 19 of 40
20. October 29, 2018Source:false 20 of 40
21. November 6, 2018Source:false 21 of 40
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23. November 30, 201823 of 40
24. December 28, 2018Source:Getty 24 of 40
25. December 30, 2018
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Amber Guyger appears to continue to be protected by the city of Dallas.https://t.co/tYC6y0iXBz— NewsOne (@newsone) December 31, 2018
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27. April 4, 2019Source:Getty 27 of 40
28. April 30, 201928 of 40
29. June 5, 2019
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Botham Jean’s Mother Breaks Silence On Amber Guyger’s 911 Call https://t.co/y44q5FCXMw— ghetto intellectual™ (@kzshabazz) June 5, 2019
30. August 30, 2019
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Dallas police officers were reportedly given new orders relating to Amber Guyger's murder trial for killing Botham Jean in his own home.— NewsOne (@newsone) September 3, 2019
Jury selection begins Friday.https://t.co/RBHayvIUF1
31. September 5, 2019
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"I'm not raising my expectations," Allison Jean said about whether justice will be served in Amber Guyger's murder trial for killing her son, Botham Jean, in his own home in Dallas.— NewsOne (@newsone) September 5, 2019
Jury selection starts tomorrow, the anniversary of the shooting.https://t.co/cECezs80cQ
32. September 6, 2019
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A year ago today Botham Jean was killed in his home by a cop because she was "tired" -- (yep, the fatigue defense). He was only 26 years old. A year later, still no trial (jury selection finally starts today). #BothamJean pic.twitter.com/ndK3Q4vNZV— Clay 'Critical Thinking Theory' Cane (@claycane) September 6, 2019
33. September 16, 201933 of 40
34. September 18, 201934 of 40
35. September 20, 2019
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Botham Jean’s sister hopes Amber Guyger trial will bring closure for family https://t.co/NzxmefgYby— FOX 4 NEWS (@FOX4) September 19, 2019
36. September 23, 2019
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Amber Guyger killed Botham Jean over a year ago. The trial stared today.https://t.co/jFI5944rgG— NewsOne (@newsone) September 23, 2019
37. September 24, 201937 of 40
38. September 25, 201938 of 40
39. September 27, 2019
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"I wish he was the one with the gun that killed me."— ABC News (@ABC) September 28, 2019
Amber Guyger, ex-Dallas police officer accused of killing unarmed man in his apartment, breaks down in tears on the stand as she recounts the night's tragic events. https://t.co/EHJNIYULgM pic.twitter.com/ryoJkObpuF