Amber Guyger appealed her conviction in the murder of Botham Jean and failed. The Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas upheld Guyger’s conviction and 10-year sentence.
The Associated Press reported a three-judge panel heard the appeal, finding sufficient evidence at trial to support Guyger’s sentence. Justices rejected claims that Guyger’s mistaken belief she was in her own apartment trumped evidence of intent to kill.
Guyger’s attorney unsuccessfully argued that Guyger being in the wrong apartment was a reasonable mistake. The attorney further argued that Guyger’s mistake meant she didn’t have the required intent to kill Jean, the apartment’s rightful inhabitant.
A copy of the decision provided by the Dallas-Fort Worth CBS affiliate shows the appeals panel did not entertain Guyger’s excuses. The panel also rejected the contention that the jury at trial erred in rejecting her claim of self-defense.
“But her perception of circumstances creating the series of events here has no bearing on whether she acted intentionally or knowingly or instead acted with criminal negligence,” wrote Chief Justice Robert D. Burns. “The evidence is undisputed that Guyger intended the result of her conduct or acted knowingly with respect to the result of her conduct because she testified she intended to shoot and kill Jean.”
In writing the decision for the court, Burns pointed to Guyger’s own testimony that she entered the apartment instead of taking cover, staking out the scene, and calling for backup. He also highlighted the testimony of another officer who had to deal with a burglary situation while off duty. That officer explained, “his training mandated taking a position of cover and concealment rather than entering alone.”
The officer’s testimony swayed the panel reviewing Guyger’s claim to find that the evidence could support a jury finding that her actions were not reasonable.
“He explained that in intense situations where another person posed a threat, he focused on the suspect’s hands to determine whether the suspect held an item that could cause bodily harm, and in those situations, it was important to determine where the suspect’s hands were,” read the decision.
As previously reported by NewsOne, Guyger entered Jean’s home in 2018 and shot him. Jean
He had been eating Ice cream on his couch. She was convicted of murder over a year later.
While Guyger is within her rights to try and appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, digging in on her alleged mistake only shows a callous disregard for the life she took. But for now, she is still serving her sentence with eligibility for parole in 2024.