An attorney for Amber Guyger — the ex-Dallas cop convicted of murdering her unarmed black neighbor in his own apartment — has filed a notice of appeal of her conviction and 10-year prison sentence, according to reports.
Michael Mowla filed the notice with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Oct. 16, two weeks after Guyger, who is white, was sentenced for shooting 26-year-old Botham Jean in his apartment after she mistook it for her own.
The filing is the first step needed if Guyger, 31, decides to proceed with an appeal, although the notice did not specify the basis of her possible argument, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
Under Texas law, a defendant must file a notice of appeal with 30 days of any imposed sentence to protest a judgment in a criminal case, according to state rules of appellate procedure.
Robert Rogers, Guyger’s lead defense attorney during her trial, told CNN that the filing was a formality in accordance with Texas law.
“You have 30 days by statute to file a notice or intent to appeal, so the lawyer that’s handling the appeal filed that just to preserve the right,” Rogers told said. “You have to do that.”
Rogers, who won’t be involved in Guyger’s possible appeal, said it’ll be “months before we know” what she ultimately decides.
Guyger testified at her trial that she believed Jean was an intruder before she fatally shot him on Sept. 6, 2018. The cop, who was later fired, had just finished a 14-hour shift and was still in her police uniform when she gunned down Jean. She had faced up to 99 years in prison.
The disgraced cop is serving her 10-year sentence at the maximum-security Mountain View Unit in Gatesville, Texas, roughly 130 miles away from Dallas. Guyger is eligible for parole in September 2024, CNN reports.