Aug. 9 (UPI) — Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger filed for an appeal of her murder conviction for shooting neighbor Botham Jean last year.
Her lawyers argued in court documents that she should be acquitted of the murder because she believed she was in her apartment at the time of the fatal shooting and acted in self-defense.
They requested a lesser charge of negligent homicide and a new hearing for her punishment.
Guyger, a White off-duty officer still in uniform at the time, fatally shot the unarmed 26-year-old Black accountant, who had been watching TV and eating ice cream at his apartment on Sept. 6, 2018. She said she thought she was entering her own apartment one floor below and mistook Jean for a burglar.
Her mistaken belief “negated 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 said.
Guyger was convicted of murder in October and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Prosecutors said at the trial that Guyger should have done more to help Jean after shooting him, but she was more concerned about losing her job.
The case was one of several cases over the past decade of police use of force against unarmed Black men and women that garnered attention by activists speaking out against racial bias in law enforcement.
The police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 ignited a global outcry and ongoing Black Lives Matter protests.