Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger still has to serve out her 10-year murder sentence for the killing of 26-year-old Botham Jean.
Guyger lost her initial appeal on Thursday, as she attempted to have her murder conviction lessened or tossed out, NBCDFW reports.
An attorney for Jean’s family shared how relieved they were by the court’s decision. They also were reportedly not surprised by The Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas in Dallas upholding the conviction.
Guyger and Jean lived inside the same apartment complex when she went inside his apartment and fatally shot him on Sept. 6, 2018. At the time of the murder, she claimed she had mistaken his apartment as her own and shot him after feeling threatened.
She was convicted in 2019, and her legal team has been attempting to get her charges lessened to negligent homicide. In Guyger’s appeal, she argues that her mistaken belief that she was in her own apartment should rule out her capacity for committing murder, The Dallas Morning News reports.
Justices Lana Myers, Robbie Partida-Kipness, and Chief Justice Robert D. Burns III disagreed with Guyger’s claims that deadly force was reasonable, Morning News reports. The court also determined that the evidence didn’t support a conviction of criminally negligent homicide.
Jean was sitting on his couch eating ice cream when Guyger fired twice, striking him in the chest, her arrest affidavit states.
“That she was mistaken as to Jean’s status as a resident in his own apartment or a burglar in hers does not change her mental state from intentional or knowing to criminally negligent,” the judges wrote.
“We decline to rely on Guyger’s misperception of the circumstances leading to her mistaken beliefs as a basis to reform the jury’s verdict in light of the direct evidence of her intent to kill.”
Guyger is eligible for parole in 2024.