Just a quick note: It appears that Amber Guyger, just convicted of murder in the “wrong apartment” shooting death of Botham Jean, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
It seems to me that on the law and facts murder was the wrong conviction in this case, and some form of manslaughter would have been more appropriate if the “reasonable mistake self-defense” was not going to be accepted as grounds for an outright acquittal.
As it happens, 10 years is much more a manslaughter-type sentence than a murder-type, so the distinction between having been convicted of murder rather than manslaughter may end up having little substantive difference.
With respect to the possibility of her appealing her conviction, this thought comes to mind, as I shared on Facebook:
I don’t know that they’d want to [appeal]. I’m no expert on Texas sentencing law, but in many states it’s possible she could do a third or less of the nominal sentence. If she’s going to end up doing ~3 years, she might do that long waiting on an appeal. And if she appeals and gets retried, she’s not guaranteed a manslaughter-like sentence if she’s convicted of murder again.
Indeed, if serving as little as three years is a possible outcome, one wonders if she would have accepted a 3-year plea deal had it been offered at the start.
Update: I’m being told media outlets are reporting that she could end up serving as little as 5 years.
Update: It’s worth noting that Botham Jean did absolutely nothing to deserve being shot.
Indeed, had he seen Guyger entering his apartment with a drawn gun, and shot and killed her first, that would have been a lawful killing, without question, however good faith Guyger’s intentions might have been.
It would simply have been another “awful but lawful” shooting, with the victims simply reversed.
Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC
Law of Self Defense CONSULT Program