Why was Amber Guyger's appeal denied? Court upholds Botham Jean killer's conviction
While the court accepted that Amber Guyger mistakenly entered Botham Jean's apartment believing it was her own, they noted 'Guyger's belief that deadly force was immediately necessary was not reasonable'
DALLAS, TEXAS: Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, who shot and killed her neighbor inside his own apartment in 2018, was denied the first appeal of her murder conviction. according to a Thursday, August 5 court ruling.
Guyger, 33, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the killing of Botham Jean. He lived in the same apartment building as the former cop. He was eating ice cream in his own home when she entered and fatally shot him in September 2018. Guyger testified in court that she thought she was entering her own apartment and assumed Jean was an intruder. She was fired by the Dallas Police Department following the tragic incident.
Why was Amber Guyger's appeal denied?
According to USA Today, Guyger's attorneys had asked the judge to overturn her murder conviction and order a new sentencing and trial. They also suggested replacing it with a conviction for criminally negligent homicide, a lesser charge that would carry a maximum punishment of two years in jail. According to them, Guyger's 2019 trial was not sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that their client had committed murder. They argued that she had a "reasonable belief" that she was in her own apartment, and therefore was acting on her right to use deadly force in self-defense.
While the Fifth Court of Appeals accepted that Guyger mistakenly entered Jean's apartment believing it was her own, they noted that the jury could have determined "Guyger's belief that deadly force was immediately necessary was not reasonable."
"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 court argued. "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." Despite her first appeal being denied, Guyger still has the option of raising the case to Texas' Court of Criminal Appeals. Nonetheless, Thursday's ruling was a major setback for the former cop, who could be eligible for parole as soon as 2024.
Twitter users lauded the court's decision to uphold the original verdict by denying Guyger's appeal. "Good. That’s what should happen. She murdered a man who was sitting on his couch, in his apartment, eating ice cream," one Twitter user wrote. "She killed that man in his own home. This is an easy one. Good grief," another added. "Good. How do you walk into someone's apartment and shoot them while they sit on the sofa eating ice cream?" a third chimed in. "Just thoughts, no prayers Dude was eating ice cream in his own friggin home, I hope she rots in prison," a comment read.
"Sitting there, enjoying a bowl of ice cream when a confused cop comes in and shoots you, thinking it is the cop's apartment. No questions, sitting with a bowl of ice cream. A cop should have questioned the situation. A good cop that is," a user observed. "Of course, it was murder. Even unintentional murder is still murder, the only difference is the sentence length. Gun owners are required to be law-abiding, remember," another added.
Good. That’s what should happen. She murdered a man who was sitting on his couch, in his apartment, eating ice cream.— InvisibleNightmare2 (@InvisibleNight3) August 6, 2021
She killed that man in his own home. This is an easy one. Good grief.— kyodaison (@kyodaison) August 6, 2021
Good. How do you walk into someone's apartment and shoot them while they sit on the sofa eating ice cream?— Sen. Marsha Blackburn Lies! (@OpinionsAboutE1) August 6, 2021
Just thoughts, no prayers— NegativeReps (@NegativeReps) August 6, 2021
Dude was eating ice cream in his own friggin home, I hope she rots in prison
Sitting there, enjoying a bowl of ice cream when a confused(?) cop comes in and shoots you, thinking it is the cop's apartment. No questions, sitting with a bowl of ice cream. A cop should have questioned the situation. A good cop that is.— Silenced (@Ken15485560) August 6, 2021
Of Course, It Was Murder. Even Unintentional Murder Is Still Murder, The Only Difference Is The Sentence Length. 😉Gun Owners Are Required To Be Law Biding, Remember.— TonyRiggio (@RealTonyRiggio) August 6, 2021