Just on the heels of former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger’s conviction for murdering her upstairs neighbor Botham Jean in September 2018, legal experts believe her legal team will more than likely seek to appeal her 10-year sentence.
Defense attorney Heath Harris, who observed the trial but has no connection to it, expressed the possibility of a future twist of events for the former officer. Harris is a former prosecutor on police cases and believes Guyger’s attorneys will expeditiously explore a new trial.
“They’re going to throw everything they have at the appellate court, hoping something sticks, hoping something gives them another chance at retrying this case,” Harris says.
To be considered are seven days of testimony transcripts and closing arguments, all motions allowed and denied by Dallas County Judge Tammy Kemp, and the backgrounds of the jurors and witnesses.
The appeal sentence could potentially start with the judge disallowing the trial to move out of Dallas County.
“There’s a reason why they didn’t want it to be here in Dallas County… You’ve seen a lot of emotion from the citizens here in Dallas County.”
During the trial, the judge didn’t permit testimony that may have aided Guyger’s defense and swayed jurors in court: Two law enforcement officers said they believed Guyger acted reasonably and did not commit a crime.
Harris said, “They’re going to scour through every ruling for what the appropriate issues are that could potentially get this case overturned.”
A substantial chunk of time may pass before the appeal process is underway according to experts, as Guyger’s legal team will need to obtain trial transcripts and present briefs, to get the ball rolling.