An appeals court in Texas upheld the murder conviction of former Dallas police officer Amber Geiger, who was sentenced to prison for shooting her neighbor Botham Jean at home.
A panel of three state judges ruled that the Dallas County jury had sufficient evidence to convict Amber Geiger in the 2018 shooting. CBS News Report.
This means that Geiger, who will turn 33 on Monday, will continue to serve 10 years in prison. According to the current judgment, Geiger will be eligible for parole in 2024.
Geiger’s appeal It was based on the claim that it was reasonable for her to mistake the apartment she let for her own apartment, and so was the shooting.
Her lawyer asked the Court of Appeal to acquit her or change her conviction to a lesser criminal negligence homicide.
Geiger said that after returning home from long shifts, she mistakenly thought that Jean’s apartment was her own, which was on the floor directly below him. Seeing that the door was ajar, she went in and shot him, claiming that she thought he was a thief.
Jean, a 26-year-old accountant, was eating a bowl of ice cream before Guyger broke in and shot him. She was later fired by the Dallas Police Department.
The Dallas County Attorney argued that the error was unreasonable, and Geiger admitted that he intended to kill Jean, “murder is a result-oriented crime.”
The Chief Justice of the Court Robert D. Burns III, Justices Lana Miles and Robbie Patida-Kipnis agreed with the prosecutor’s view that Geiger’s view of the need for lethal force is indeed not Reasonable.
In a 23-page opinion, the judge disagreed that Geiger’s team’s evidence supported the conviction of criminal negligent murder rather than murder, and they used Geiger’s own testimony to show that she intended to kill.
The judges wrote: “She mistakenly believed that Jean was a resident of her apartment or a thief in her apartment. This did not change her mental state, from deliberate or knowing to criminal negligence.” “We refuse to rely on Geiger’s false beliefs that led to her. The misunderstanding of her situation serves as the basis for reforming the jury’s verdict based on the direct evidence of her intention to kill.”
Defense lawyers can still ask the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals-the state’s highest forum for criminal cases-to review the new ruling.