In this Sept. 27, 2019, file photo, former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger becomes emotional as she testifies in her murder trial in Dallas.
Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP, Pool, File
Amber Guyger, a former Dallas police officer killed Botham Jean in his own apartment in 2018 filed an appeal to her 10-year prison sentence.
Guyger’s lawyers argue in the appeal that “she had the right to act in deadly force in self-defense since her belief that deadly force was immediately necessary was reasonable under the circumstances,” CBS reported.
A lawyer for the Jean family said in a statement to CNN that filing the appeal reflects Guyger as “someone who is not repentant but instead was hoping to play on the families sympathies at the time that they were most vulnerable.”
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The ex-police officer who killed an unarmed Black man in his own Dallas apartment has filed an appeal for her conviction.
On September 6, 2018, Amber Guyger shot and killed 26-year-old Botham Jean. During the 2019 trial, Guyger’s attorneys argued that she parked on the wrong floor of her building after a long shift at work and mistakenly entered the apartment above her own.
Insider previously reported that when Guyger walked into the wrong apartment she saw the silhouette of a figure standing in the dark and said “Let me see your hands!” before shooting her firearm.
Prosecutors opposed that argument, saying Jean was not a threat as he was watching television and eating a bowl of ice cream when Guyger entered his Dallas apartment.
Ultimately, she was found guilty of Jean’s murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison in October 2019.
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In the appeal, Guyger is requesting to either be acquitted of the murder charge or acquitted and charged with criminally negligent homicide, a lesser offense. Guyger’s lawyers said that the evidence was “legally insufficient to prove beyond reasonable doubt,” CBS reported.
“Her mistaken belief negated the culpability for murder because although she intentionally and knowingly caused Jean’s death, she had the right to act in deadly force in self-defense since her belief that deadly force was immediately necessary was reasonable under the circumstances,” Guyger’s attorneys said in the appeal.
Guyger’s attorneys are requesting an oral argument to present their case.
S. Lee Merritt, a lawyer for the Jean family, criticized the appeal in a statement to CNN on the family’s behalf, saying the move was aimed to play on the family’s “sympathies.”
“After admitting her crime and asking Botham Jean’s family for mercy– Guyger’s actions in filing this appeal reflect someone who is not repentant but instead was hoping to play on the families sympathies at the time that they were most vulnerable,” Merritt said in the reported statement.
Merritt told CNN that Guyger filing the appeal suggests that she “should have been allowed to murder Botham in ‘self defense'” and that “the jury was instructed on self defense prior to deliberations and they properly rejected the defense and found Guyger guilty of murder one.”
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