On the night of 6th September 2018, Amber Guyger, an off-duty Dallas Police Department patrol officer; shot Botham Jean in his Dallas, Texas apartment.
Guyger claimed that she had entered his apartment believing it was her own and thought Jean was a burglar.
She was initially charged with manslaughter and the absence of a murder charge led to protests and accusations of racial bias. This was because Jean was black, unarmed, and was killed in his home by a white off-duty officer; who had also apparently disregarded police protocols.
However on 30th November 2018, Guyger was indicted on a charge of murder, and on the 1st of October 2019, she was also found guilty of murder; and was thereby sentenced to ten years imprisonment the following day.
The Court of Criminal Appeals however refused to hear Guyger’s petition to review a lower court’s decision; to uphold her 2019 conviction and sentence on Wednesday.
During her appeal, Amber Guyger argued that her mistaken belief that she was in her own apartment; invalidated her culpability for murder.
Botham Jean was sitting in his home and eating ice cream in his Lamar Street apartment on the 6th of September 2018; when Officer Guyger, who lived on the floor above him, walked into his apartment. Guyger said she believed Jean was an intruder when she shot him.
The decision by the 5th Texas Court of Appeals in Dallas means Amber Guyger, who will be turning 33 on Monday; will continue to serve her 10-year prison sentence and this dashes her hopes of having the 2019 conviction reversed. Under her current sentence, she will become eligible for parole in 2024.