Officer Convicted In Botham Jean Murder Wants Sentence Overturned, Claiming Self-Defense

A man is sitting in his apartment eating ice cream when the door opens. A woman enters, and shoots him in the chest, in his own home. Now she’s trying to have her murder conviction overturned, on the grounds that she says she was acting in self-defense.

As reported in Dallas News‘s 2018-19 coverage, Amber Guyger, then a police officer in Dallas, claimed that she believed the apartment she was entering was her own, one floor lower. Botham Jean, who did live in the apartment, was at home when Guyger opened his door. Seeing him inside, she says she thought he was an intruder, and fired her weapon. She turned herself in soon after, and a year later, was convicted of murder and sentenced to ten years in prison.

Now, a Dallas appeals court is considering whether to overturn her conviction, according to ABC. Guyger’s attorney argues that the former officer was acting in self-defense when she shot and killed her neighbor in his home, requesting a full acquittal of the charges, and if the court won’t agree to that, a reduction to conviction on criminally negligent homicide instead.

The timing of Guyger’s appeal is striking, coming barely a week after the a murder conviction for another officer involved in the death of another Black citizen. Derek Chauvin was convicted on all counts in the murder of George Floyd last week.

Meanwhile, other cases continue, including the April 21st shooting death of Andrew Brown Jr. in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, which is still under investigation, and the shooting death of Daunte Wright, who was killed when an officer says she accidentally mistook her gun for her taser. The officer in that case, Kimberly Potter, has been charged with manslaughter and released on bond.

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