Amber Guyger, the former Dallas police officer, accused of entering Botham Jean’s home off-duty and fatally shooting the Black man, will now have her chance at an appeal hearing next week, CBS Dallas-Fort Worth reports.
Following the 2018 incident, Guyger was charged with murder and thrown into the slammer for what would be 10 years. But even though she claims that she mistook Jean’s apartment for hers and mistakenly assumed he was an intruder, she’s looking to get her murder conviction overturned to a lesser charge.
During Guyger’s 2019 murder trial, jurors found the former Dallas officer guilty, and she was sentenced to 10 years. She faced up to 99 years in jail. Jean’s mother, Allison Jean, spoke out after the trial and said that she believed Guyger to be just one part of a bad police system in the city of Dallas.
“The city of Dallas needs to clean up inside. The Dallas Police Department has a lot of laundry to do…If Amber Guyger was trained not to shoot in the heart, my son would be standing here today,” she told reporters. Jean’s brother infamously offered Guyger an emotional hug during the trial, leading to heavy debates about Black forgiveness.
Attorney Toby Shook, who represented Guyger in her initial trial, explained that the appeal would broach the idea that Guyger made a mistake, and therefore shouldn’t bear the weight of a murder conviction.
Instead, Shook argued that Guyger should have been charged more appropriately with criminally negligent homicide.
Related Post: Dallas Police Officer Kept on Force While Being Investigated for Murder
On whether his former client will actually have success when facing the panel of judges, he stated, “Statistics show that felonies are not often reversed for trials. They are low. They do happen, but it just depends on the actual issues, so it’s kind of hard to predict, but most cases are affirmed.”
According to CBS Dallas-Fort Worth, the appeal will involve a panel of three judges who will listen and evaluate arguments. At a later date, they will reveal their decision. Though the panel will hear more arguments about Guyger’s mistake that night, it doesn’t change the reality that her “oops” moment caused the death of an innocent black man.