Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, who was convicted in the murder of Botham Jean, might decide to appeal her conviction. Her appellate attorney, Michael Mowla, filed paperwork last week that preserves the convict’s ability to appeal her conviction and sentence, CNN reported.
“You have 30 days by statute to file a notice or intent to appeal, so the lawyer that’s handling the appeal filed that just to preserve the right,” Robert Rogers, Guyger’s lead trial lawyer, told CNN. “You have to do that.”
The public likely won’t know anytime soon whether or not she will follow through with an appeal, according to Rogers. It will be “months before we know” whether Guyger and her lawyers will decide to try to appeal.
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She is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for murder at the Mountain View prison in Gatesville, Texas. Last year, Guyger accidentally entered Jean’s apartment and shot him with her service weapon. She was off duty at the time. Jean, a young accountant, was sitting on his couch when she walked in and shot him, believing that he was an intruder.
The fact that Guyger did not leave the apartment instead of shooting him was a major focal point for the prosecution during the case. On the stand, she told the prosecution that she did not remember anything from an eight-hour de-escalation class she had taken.
She will be eligible for parole on Sept. 29, 2024, according to CNN.
Guyger’s conviction is rare in Texas, a state that has primarily seen police officers face no consequences for shootings, even under questionable circumstances. Guyger being convicted of murder, and not the lesser possible option of manslaughter, also came as a surprise.
“I, for one, was not expecting a white police officer to be convicted on the more serious charge for killing a black man, however bizarre the circumstances,” CNN Opinion contributor Jill Filipovic wrote earlier this month. “What this guilty verdict may at least show is there are some lines even white police officers can’t cross when killing unarmed black people.”