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Date set for Amber Guyger's appeal of murder conviction in death of Botham Jean

Guyger was first arrested on a manslaughter charge after she fatally shot Botham Jean in 2018. She was found guilty of murdering Jean in Oct. 2019.
Credit: WFAA
Amber Guyger

DALLAS — A court date has been set for Amber Guyger's appeal of her murder conviction in the death of Botham Jean. 

A jury convicted Guyger of murdering Jean in his Dallas apartment in 2019, just over one year after he was shot and killed.

The request for appeal was filed back in August 2020 in the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Dallas. Her legal team is seeking an acquittal of the murder charge against Guyger. Her attorneys argue in the court documents that because she believed she was in her apartment, Guyger was acting in self-defense.

The appeal also requests a lesser charge and a new hearing for her punishment.

Oral arguments in the case will be heard on April 27 at 1 p.m., court documents show. The arguments will be held via a Zoom web conference and broadcast to the Court's YouTube channel.

Guyger's attorney Michael Mowla will represent her at the oral arguments, with assistant District Attorney Douglas Gladden acting on behalf of the state. 

As of Feb. 25, Justices Lana Myers, Robbie Partida-Kipness and Dennise Garcia will make up the 3-justice panel to hear the case, though that could change. 

Each attorney will have 20 minutes to make their case, with an additional 5 minutes for the appellant to make a rebuttal. 

The appeal filed in August requests that the court acquits Guyger of murder, convicts her of criminally negligent homicide and remands the case for a new hearing for her punishment.

Her attorney requested an oral argument, citing the complexity of the facts and legal arguments, according to the documents filed in August.

RELATED: Full coverage of Guyger's murder trial

Guyger was initially arrested on a manslaughter charge after she fatally shot Botham Jean while he was eating ice cream inside his own apartment in September 2018.

Guyger was off duty but still in her police uniform. She said she believed she was walking into her own apartment and thought Jean was an intruder.

The attorneys cite that the evidence in the trial was “legally insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Guyger committed murder” because she had a “reasonable belief” that she was in her own apartment and there was an intruder inside, court documents say.

Her mistaken belief “negated the culpability of murder because although she intentionally and knowingly caused Jean’s death, she had the right to act in deadly force of self-defense,” court documents say.

In the circumstance she believed, deadly force “was immediately necessary was reasonable under the circumstances.”

Guyger was convicted of murder in October 2019 and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

YouTube coverage of 2019 trial: