Amber Guyger will continue serving her 10-year prison sentence after a Texas appeals court upheld her murder conviction for shooting and killing Botham Jean in his own apartment back in 2018.
According to the Dallas Morning News, the former Dallas police officer and her attorneys were hoping the court would instead convict her of criminally negligent homicide–a charge that comes with a maximum sentence of only two years in prison.
Guyger has testified that she mistakenly entered Jean’s apartment on the night of the shooting because she was fatigued after a long shift at work. Jean, a 26-year-old accountant, was sitting on his couch and eating ice cream when Guyger entered the apartment and killed him.
Her appeal argued that because she believed she was in her own apartment and that Jean was an intruder, it was reasonable for Guyger to use deadly force in an act of self-defense.
The Fifth District Court of Appeals disagreed with this premise.
From the Morning News:
The justices also did not agree that evidence supported a conviction of criminally negligent homicide rather than murder, and they pointed to Guyger’s own testimony that she intended to kill.
“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 judges wrote. “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.”
It’s good to see that the appeals court recognized that Guyger’s story didn’t add up when it happened and still doesn’t add up today. The Morning News points out that Guyger said during the trial that she knew could have approached the situation a lot differently instead of just barging in and shooting this man to death if she was genuinely worried that her apartment was broken into.
But she didn’t and now she’s paying the price for taking an innocent man’s life. That’s the way it should be.
According to the Morning News, Guyger and her attorneys can still appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the highest criminal court in the state. The newspaper notes that this court is far more conservative than the Fifth District.
We can only hope that if Guyger does try to appeal to those justices, they have as much sense to keep her in the hoosegow as the others did.