Amber Guyger, Former Dallas Police Officer, Appeals Conviction for Shooting Neighbor

A former Dallas police officer currently in jail for murdering her neighbor in 2018 is set to appear in court in an attempt to have her conviction quashed.

Amber Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison in October 2019 after she was found guilty of murdering Botham Jean inside his own home.

During the trial, a court heard how Guyger had accidentally entered Jean's apartment, which was located one floor beneath hers in the South Side Flats they both lived in, believing it was hers after finishing a long shift.

Guyger then mistook Jean, who is Black, for an intruder and shot him.

The September 2018 shooting was one of a number of incidents involving a white police officer shooting an unarmed Black man to have occurred around that time, with the killing attracting particular attention as Jean was inside his own home.

Dallas-based appellate lawyer Michael Mowla will represent Guyger during Tuesday's court hearing.

Guyger's defense team will attempt to try acquit her murder conviction and replace it with a criminally negligent homicide, which carries a lesser sentence. The appeal hangs on the argument that Guyger was right to shoot Jean because she believed he was in her apartment.

"A rational jury would have concluded that Guyger was reasonable in her belief that she entered her apartment, saw an intruder who did not show his hands, and was justified in using deadly force in self defense," her lawyers wrote in a brief filed with a request for a hearing, reported The Dallas Morning News.

Jean's mother, Allison, has condemned the appeal, saying it will hinder the family's attempts to move on from the 26-year-old's murder.

Allison Jean said she will be forced to watch the hearings because she knows the media will come to her for reaction to any decision.

"I know everyone has a right of appeal, and I believe she's utilizing that right," Allison Jean told The Dallas Morning News. "But on the other hand, there is one person who cannot utilize any more rights because she took him away.

"So having gotten 10 years, only 10, for killing someone who was in the prime of his life and doing no wrong in the comfort of his home, I believe that she ought to accept, take accountability for it, and move on," she added.

No decision will be made during the first virtual hearing at the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Dallas on Tuesday.

"The hearing is just one step in the appellate process," Tasha Tsiaperas, the Dallas County District Attorney's Office community and media relations manager, told Spectrum 1 News. "The court will hand down its decision at a later date."

Mowla has been contacted for comment.

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Allison Jean, mother of Botham Shem Jean, is embraced by a supporter after a press conference at Greenville Avenue Church of Christ on September 13, 2018 in Richardson, Texas. Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger is appealing her murder conviction after fatally shooting Bothan Jean in his home in 2018. Stewart F. House/Getty Images