DALLAS — A Texas court is scheduled to hear arguments on overturning the conviction of a former Dallas police officer who was convicted of murder and sentenced to prison for fatally shooting her neighbor in his home.
An attorney for Amber Guyger and prosecutors are set to clash before an appeals court Tuesday.
Guyger shot and killed Botham Jean in his own apartment in September 2018 after she mistook his apartment for her own.
Guyger lived in the unit above Jean and got off on the wrong floor. Finding the door to Jean’s apartment open, she thought a robbery was in process at her own apartment. Guyger shot Jean as he sat on his couch.
Guyger was convicted of murder in October 2019 and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
While the facts of the case are not in doubt, at issue in Tuesday’s hearing is whether the evidence in the case was sufficient to prove that Guyger's 2018 shooting of Botham Jean was murder.
According to the Associated Press, Guyger’s lawyers believe that her mistake in entering the wrong apartment was reasonable, and therefore, the shooting was reasonable. They hope to have Guyger’s charge reduced, and then have her sentenced reduced based on the new charge.
According to KDFW-TV in Dallas, Guyger’s lawyers will have about 20 minutes to argue their case in front of a three-judge panel at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
KDFW reports that judges will come into Tuesday’s hearing with the assumption that the jury’s verdict is valid.
Guyger’s hearing comes a week after another high-profile murder case involving a former police officer and a Black man.
Last Tuesday, jurors convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter in connection with the death of George Floyd.
Chauvin will be sentenced in June.