Lawyers for Amber Guyger, the white former Dallas police officer who shot and killed an unarmed Black man in his apartment, have appealed her murder conviction, seeking acquittal or that she be charged with the lesser crime of criminally negligent homicide, according to media reports..
The defense team says there was insufficient evidence to convict her of murder in the death of Botham Jean, and asked the court to hold a new hearing, according to the filing, CNN reports. She is now serving a 10-year sentence.
The conviction came in October after she was charged with murder. She entered Jean’s apartment in 2018 and shot him to death while he was eating ice cream on his couch. During her trial, she testified that she thought she had entered her own apartment in the complex where they both lived, and therefore “had the right to act in deadly force.”
In the new appeal, Guyger’s attorneys argue that the evidence originally submitted in the case “was legally insufficient to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Guyger committed murder.”
They claim Guyger was confused about where she was in her apartment complex since both the third and fourth floors where her and Jean’s apartments were located look identical.
“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,” the appeal reads.
Guyger had both a taser and pepper spray on her along with the gun she used to kill Jean. Her lawyers argue though that officers are not trained to use the non-lethal weapons “when faced with a deadly situation.”
“Despite the tragic consequences, considering all the evidence — whether admissible or inadmissible … Guyger acted reasonably,” the appeal reads, claiming Guyger “simply missed” the clues she was entering the wrong apartment.
During the trial, Guyger’s attorneys argued that Jean’s death happened due to the “malfunction” on his door and the “absurd design” and incompetent management” of the apartment building.