In Dallas, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas has denied former police officer Amber Guyger’s appeal, KIRO 7 reports. As Sister 2 Sister reported, Guyger was convicted for the 2018 murder of Botham Jean and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Guyger shot and killed Jean after she entered his apartment. She maintains she thought it was hers. Guyger lived directly beneath Jean in the Dallas apartment complex and ended up on the wrong floor after returning from work around 10 p.m. on Sept. 6, 2018. Jean was sitting on his sofa when Guyger entered his apartment and shot him.
Her lawyers argued that the former cop believing she had entered her own apartment negates her culpability for murder. They wanted the murder conviction overturned and Guyger to be given a lighter sentence for criminally negligent homicide. The maximum penalty for criminally negligent homicide is two years in prison.
Fifth District Court of Appeals Justices Robbie Partida-Kipness, Lana Myers and Chief Justice Robert D. Burns III disagreed that deadly force was reasonable and denied the appeal.
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The justices also disagreed that Guyger did not intend to kill Jean due to her own testimony. Guyger testified that she intended to shoot to kill when she thought Jean was a burglar inside her apartment and feared for her life.
“That she was mistaken as to Jean’s status as a resident in his own apartment or a burglar in hers does not change her mental state from intentional or knowing to criminally negligent,” the judges wrote. “We decline to rely on Guyger’s misperception of the circumstances leading to her mistaken beliefs as a basis to reform the jury’s verdict in light of the direct evidence of her intent to kill.”
Guyger has one more chance to appeal with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s highest criminal court. Guyger is eligible for parole in 2024.