A Texas appeals court will begin to hear arguments on Tuesday in the case of Amber Guyger, the Texas cop who shot and killed Botham Jean in his own home in 2018.
According to the Associated Press, a jury found Guyger guilty of murder in 2019 and sentenced her to 10 years in prison. Guyger was formerly a cop with the Dallas Police Department and shot Jean after entering his apartment and mistaking it for hers. At the time, Guyger said she was fatigued from working a 13-hour shift and her confused state was why she shot and killed Jean. Jean was a 26-year-old accountant and was on his couch eating ice cream when Guyger entered his home and killed him.
Guyger’s appeal is predicated on the idea that it was reasonable for her to assume that Jean’s apartment was her own, and therefore it was reasonable for her to kill him as she believed she was acting in self-defense. Her attorneys are arguing that she should be acquitted of the murder charge, or have it reduced to criminally negligent homicide which carries a lighter sentence of only two years in prison.
Prosecutors have argued that given the facts of the case, the sentence Guyger received is just. “Because intentionally killing a man in his own apartment is murder, the State of Texas submits that [Guyger’s] conviction is just fine, and this Court should affirm it,” prosecutors wrote in a brief before the hearing.
Not going to lie, I’m going to feel some kind of way if she successfully appeals her case. If any of us tried to explain that the reason we broke into our neighbor’s home and killed them was because we were tired and confused after a long day of work, we know that wouldn’t fly. I know damn sure if it was me in that situation I’d probably be facing more than 10 years in jail.
Alison Jean, Jean’s mother, told the Dallas Morning News that the appeal has made it harder for the family to heal and find closure. ”I know everyone has a right of appeal, and I believe she’s utilizing that right. But on the other hand, there is one person who cannot utilize any more rights because she took him away,” Jean said.
“So having gotten 10 years, only 10, for killing someone who was in the prime of his life and doing no wrong in the comfort of his home, I believe that she ought to accept, take accountability for it and move on,” she added.