Appeals court docket upholds homicide conviction of ex-Dallas officer Amber Guyger, who killed neighbor Botham Jean in his own residence

A Texas appeals court docket on Thursday upheld the homicide conviction of a former Dallas police officer who was sentenced to jail for fatally capturing her neighbor in his dwelling.

A panel of three state judges dominated {that a} Dallas County jury had ample proof to convict Amber Guyger of homicide within the 2018 capturing of Botham Jean.

The choice by the fifth Texas Court docket of Appeals in Dallas means Guyger, who turns 33 on Monday, will proceed to serve her 10-year jail sentence  and largely dashes her hopes of getting the 2019 conviction overturned. She’s going to grow to be eligible for parole in 2024, underneath her present sentence.

The ruling is available in a case that drew nationwide consideration due to the unusual circumstances and since it was one in a string of shootings of Black males by white law enforcement officials.

The appeals court docket justices didn’t dispute the essential info of the case. Guyger, returning dwelling from a protracted shift, mistook Jean’s house for her personal, which was on the ground straight beneath his. Discovering the door ajar, she entered and shot him, later testifying that she thought he was a burglar.

Jean, a 26-year-old accountant, had been consuming a bowl of ice cream earlier than Guyger shot him. She was later fired from the Dallas Police Division.

Guyger’s enchantment held on the declare that her mistaking Jean’s house for her personal was cheap, and so the capturing was, as nicely. Her lawyer requested the appeals court docket to acquit her of homicide or substitute in a conviction for criminally negligent murder, which carries a lesser sentence.

Dallas County prosecutors countered that the error wasn’t cheap, that Guyger acknowledged desiring to kill Jean and that “homicide is a result-oriented offense.”

Botham Jean, Amber Guyger
Botham Jean and Amber Guyger in undated images.


The court docket’s chief justice, Robert D. Burns III, and Justices Lana Myers and Robbie Partida-Kipness concurred with prosecutors, disagreeing that Guyger’s perception that lethal pressure was wanted was cheap.

In a 23-page opinion, the justices additionally disagreed that proof supported a conviction of criminally negligent murder fairly than homicide, and so they pointed to Guyger’s personal testimony that she meant to kill.

“That she was mistaken as to Jean’s standing as a resident in his personal house or a burglar in hers doesn’t change her psychological state from intentional or understanding to criminally negligent,” the judges wrote. “We decline to depend on Guyger’s misperception of the circumstances resulting in her mistaken beliefs as a foundation to reform the jury’s verdict in gentle of the direct proof of her intent to kill.”

Protection attorneys may nonetheless ask the Texas Court docket of Legal Appeals – the state’s highest discussion board for felony circumstances – to assessment the appeals court docket’s ruling. A message to Guyger’s lawyer was not instantly returned.

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