Amber Guyger, the former Dallas police officer who fatally shot an unarmed Black man in his own apartment — saying she thought it was her own residence — has appealed her sentence.
Guyger was convicted of murder last October and is serving a 10-year prison sentence.
Guyger has claimed she fired in self-defense in 2018, when she pushed open door to Jean’s apartment — one floor above her own — in the mistaken belief it was her own. She found Jean on his own couch, watching TV and eating ice cream.
Her defense team says there was insufficient evidence to convict her of murder. The court should either acquit Guyger of that charge, or acquit her of murder, convict her of criminally negligent homicide, and hold a new hearing on the punishment, according to the court filing.
Guyger testified that on September 6, 2018, she returned home from work and went to what she thought was her apartment. She was off duty but still in her police uniform. The apartment door was ajar, she said, and when she entered she found a man inside. She fired her service weapon, killing him.
She was actually in the apartment directly above hers, which belonged to Botham Jean, a 26-year-old accountant from St. Lucia. Jean was on the couch, watching TV and eating ice cream when Guyger walked in and shot him, prosecutors said.
However, Botham Jean’s family has issued a statement expressing their disappointment on hearing of Guyger’s appeal.
“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,” said the statement from S. Lee Merritt, attorney for the Jean family.