Texas appeals court upholds murder charge for ex-Dallas cop who killed her neighbor

Texas appeals court upholds murder charge for ex-Dallas cop who killed her neighbor
© Kaufman County Sheriff's Office/Screenshot

A Texas state appeals court on Thursday upheld a murder conviction against an ex-Dallas police officer who was accused of fatally shooting her neighbor.

The 5th Texas Court of Appeals upheld a murder charge against Amber Guyger for the 2018 fatal shooting of Botham Jean, according to a copy of the ruling published by CBS DFW.

Guyger, who lived one floor below Jean, mistakenly entered his apartment thinking it was her own. She shot him thinking he was a burglar when she found the door open after returning home from work.

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Guyger appealed the ruling last year, arguing that she was acting in self-defense and mistaking the apartment for hers was reasonable and did not amount to murder.

But prosecutors countered that she “intended to kill” Jean, noting “she shot him in the chest while he was sitting on his own couch eating ice cream."

Oral arguments in the appeal were heard in late April.

In its ruling, the three-judge panel said there was sufficient evidence to support the jury’s verdict. The panel said it was “undisputed” that Guyger intended to kill Jean because that’s what she testified in court.

However, “that she was mistaken as to Jean’s status as a resident in his own apartment or a burglar in hers does not change her mental state from intentional or knowing to criminally negligent,” the judges wrote.

“We decline to rely on Guyger’s misperception of the circumstances leading to her mistaken beliefs as a basis to reform the jury’s verdict in light of the direct evidence of her intent to kill,” the ruling continued.

Guyger can still appeal the ruling to the Texas Criminal Court of Appeals, according to The Associated Press.

The case garnered national attention given the circumstances around Jean’s killing.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed "Botham Jean Act” into law in June, which requires officers’ body cameras to be activated through the entirety of an investigation that involves them.