DALLAS - Legal experts believe Amber Guyger’s legal team will likely appeal her murder conviction.
A jury sentenced the former Dallas police officer on Wednesday to 10 years in prison for murdering Botham Jean, her upstairs neighbor, at the Southside Flats apartments in September 2018.
Although Guyger's trial is done, the case is likely far from over.
Trial observers, like defense attorney Heath Harris, are looking ahead to what could happen with Guyger's murder conviction in appeals court.
Harris is not affiliated with the case. He has experience as a former prosecutor on police cases and believes Guyger's attorneys will move aggressively to get a new trial.
“They're gonna throw everything, just like they did in this trial,” Harris said. “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.”
There is a lot to go through in the court record: transcripts of seven days of testimony and closing arguments, the background of jurors and witnesses and every motion allowed and denied by Dallas County Judge Tammy Kemp.
The appeal sentence could possibly start with the judge not allowing the trial to be moved out of Dallas County.
“There's a reason why they didn't want it to be here in Dallas County: obviously the emotional appeal,” Harris said. “You've seen a lot of emotion from the citizens here in Dallas County.”
During the trial, crucial testimony that may have helped Guyger's defense was not allowed in court. Outside the presence of the jury, two law enforcement officers said they believed Guyger acted reasonably and did not commit a crime. The judge declined to let the jury hear those opinions.
“They're gonna scour through that transcript,” Harris said. “They're going to scour through every ruling for what are the appropriate issues that could potentially get this case overturned.”
Legal experts say it will likely be a while before the case is in court again. Guyger’s legal team will need to do some procedural things, like getting transcripts from the trial and presenting briefs, to get the process moving forward.