Crime

Former Dallas officer Amber Guyger’s defense files notice to appeal murder conviction

An attorney for a former Dallas police officer convicted of murder in the shooting of her neighbor has filed a notice of appeal of her conviction and sentence to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

Michael Mowla filed the notice on Oct. 16 on behalf of Amber Guyger, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The notice is the first step that’s required if the defense decides to pursue an appeal in the case, but it doesn’t specify the grounds for an appeal.

To appeal the judgment in a criminal case, Texas rules of appellate procedure require that the defendant file notice of appeal “within 30 days after the day sentence is imposed or suspended in open court, or after the day the trial court enters an appealable order; or within 90 days after the day sentence is imposed or suspended in open court if the defendant timely files a motion for new trial,” according to txcourts.gov.

Guyger was found guilty on Oct. 1 of murder in the death of Botham Jean, her unarmed black neighbor, whom she shot in his apartment.

On Sept. 6, 2018, Guyger, who is white, entered Jean’s apartment, mistaking it for her own, and believed he was an intruder, she testified.

She had just finished working an extended shift of about 14 hours for the Dallas Police Department and was still in uniform when she shot Jean. The department fired her.

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Emerson Clarridge covers crime and other breaking news for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He works evenings and reports on law enforcement affairs in Tarrant County. He previously was a reporter at the Omaha World-Herald and the Observer-Dispatch in Utica, New York.
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