The highest court in the nation has refused to review the appeal of a former Dallas police officer convicted of murdering an innocent Black man in his house. The woman’s legal team shot for the Supreme Court after both the local and state courts declined to look over the merits of her case, leaving her to serve her 10-year sentence.
On Monday, Nov. 7, The U.S. Supreme court said it would not hear Amber Guyger’s appeal of her 2019 conviction and sentence to a state prison in Gatesville for the murder of Botham Jean in his apartment in September of 2018. Her attorneys argued through a series of appeals that because the ex-cop mistakenly believed she was in her own apartment and shot him, it would negate her culpability for taking the unarmed man’s life, according to The Dallas News.
Guyger’s lawyers presented a petition for writ of certiorari saying their client’s “rights to due process were violated.” The defense suggested a lower court’s interpretation of Guyger’s self-defense and mistake-of-fact claims in the shooting were wrong and narrow, WFAA reported.
The high court, which recently welcomed that body’s first Black woman, Ketanji Brown Jackson, to its ranks, did not vote on the merits of Guyger’s argument when declining to review it.
The justices also did not issue an opinion in the ruling, but the decision was reflected on her proceedings page saying the petition had been denied.
Currently, Guyger, 34, is serving a 10-year sentence for fatally shooting Jean.
On the night of his murder, she entered his apartment, a floor above hers at the South Side Flats apartments, and shot him, thinking the 26-year-old accountant was an intruder.
In March of 2022, almost four years after his death, Guyger continued to petition her freedom through the court system, asking the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to hear her petition to look over a lower court’s decision to uphold her conviction and sentence.
The state court refused.
Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot responded to the decision, saying, “Guyger’s unsuccessful attempt to make a constitutional issue out of her disagreement with the state court’s fact-bound and the state-law-grounded decision does not warrant the Court’s attention.”
After the decision was made public, Ben Crump took to Twitter to amplify the news.
Allisa Findley, Botham Jean’s sister and President of the Botham Jean Foundation, released a statement saying, “We found out Amber Guyger’s final appeal to the Supreme Court was denied from a radio show when a radio host called us asking for a comment.”
“We weren’t told in advance, we didn’t know she had appealed,” she continued. “In fact, we learned of her first set of appeals through social media. Ultimately, it doesn’t change anything because it doesn’t bring Botham back.”
“Right now, we are preparing to give out 300 turkeys to families in need through the Botham Jean Foundation and continue his spirit of giving,” the head of Jean’s foundation stated.
Few people had remorse for her on social media.
One person wrote on Twitter, “She knew exactly what she was doing. Amber Guyger had complained about Botham practicing and singing hymns in his own apartment, this was barely mentioned in this murderer’s trial.”
“Why tf is amber guyger trying to appeal? she already got a slap on the wrist,” another person asked.
Guyger’s projected release date is 2029, however, she is eligible for parole in 2024.