An attorney representing former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger appeared in front of a panel of Texas appeals court judges this week to argue in favor of overturning her murder conviction.
The former police officer didn’t appear in court on Tuesday, and ABC News reports that the panel appears skeptical of the case made by her lawyer, Michael Mowla. The attorney was questioned by Dallas prosecutors who presented more compelling arguments, which included her intent to kill 26-year-old Botham Jean.
The judges will levy a decision at a later date, according to ABC News.
In August 2020, Guyger appealed to have the conviction overturned, saying she “had the right to act in deadly force” because she believed Jean was an intruder in the apartment she thought belonged to her in 2018.
“Despite the tragic consequences, considering all the evidence — whether admissible or inadmissible … Guyger acted reasonably,” the appeal detailed, as Blavity previously reported.
Ex-Dallas cop Amber Guyger is appealing her murder conviction for killing #BothamJean.
Jean was eating ice cream in his home when she entered, shot and killed him, claiming she thought it was her apartment. He was 26.
She was sentenced to 10 years in prison out of a max. 99. pic.twitter.com/ihecRzhiWy
— AJ+ (@ajplus) April 27, 2021
A Dallas County prosecutor countered that the former police officer’s error in judgment was not reasonable and that she acknowledged having the intent to kill the 26-year-old man.
“Murder is a result-oriented offense,” prosecutors wrote in court documents.
The judges took a critical eye to Mowla’s case, launching a series of questions at him and casting doubt on the legitimacy of his argument.
Astounded by the Guyger appeal, Chief Justice Robert Burns told Mowla that a precedent he brought up in Guyger’s defense actually supported her conviction. A separate judge went as far as praising the effectiveness of prosecutors’ written statement, referring to it as “pleasing on the eyes.”
Allison Jean, Botham’s mother, told the Dallas Morning News that she respects the woman’s right to appeal but believes Guyger should just accept accountability.
”I know everyone has a right of appeal, and I believe she’s utilizing that right. But on the other hand, there is one person who cannot utilize any more rights because she took him away,” she said. “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.”
As ABC News reports Guyger could have been sentenced anywhere from two years to life in prison. Prosecutors had sought a 28-year sentence for the killing of the man who would have been 28 years old last year.
Under her current sentencing, Guyger will be up for parole in 2024.
Botham’s brother, Brandt, previously said he has forgiven the white officer and hopes she gives her life to Christ.
“I love you just like anyone else and I’m not going to hope you rot and die,” Brandt told Guyger during her sentencing hearing. “I personally want the best for you. I wasn’t going to say this in front of my family, I don’t even want you to go to jail. I want the best for you because I know that’s exactly what Botham would want for you. Give your life to Christ. I think giving your life to Christ is the best thing Botham would want for you.”