Former Police Officer Sentenced to Prison for Killing Black Neighbor Botham Jean Seeks Lesser Charge
Photo by Erin Clark/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

On Tuesday, an attorney for Amber Guyger, 32 the former Dallas police officer who was sentenced to prison for killing her Black neighbor Botham Jean, 26 while he was in his own apartment appealed in court to acquit Guyger of murder or substitute for a lesser charge.  

Michael Mowla, Guyger’s lawyer argued in a Texas appeals court that Guyger believed she was in her own apartment when she mistakenly walked into Jean’s apartment and opened fire. Mowla says this should prove that there wasn’t “evil intent” to kill and that Guyger should instead be convicted of criminally negligent homicide. However, the Dallas County Assistant District Attorney Douglas Gladden argued that this was not a justifiable defense.  

In 2018, Jean was eating a bowl of ice cream when Guyger fatally shot him. Guyger claims she was tired, had a long day of work and didn’t realize she was at the wrong apartment. Guyger lived on the floor below Jean, however when she arrived at Jean’s apartment she saw the door was open, she entered and intentionally shot him. She claims she mistook Jean for a burglar. However, the jury didn’t buy her story. Guyger was convicted in 2019 for murder.  

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Allison Jean, Botham’s mom told CNN during a phone interview that “Amber Guyger needs to sit where she is in prison and accept responsibility for what she did to my son, my family, my country, my world.” 

Allison said Guyger’s sentence isn’t long enough and if the roles were switched, her son would be facing a longer prison sentence. 

The court said it will issue its opinion based on the defense’s argument at a later day. As of right now, Guyger will continue serving her 10-year sentence and is eligible for parole on September 29, 2024.

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