Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger is expected to appear in court Tuesday.
It will be the first time there will be any matters taken up before the judge since Guyger was indicted for the murder of Botham Jean. The fired Dallas police officer has a high-powered legal team defending her.
It was early September when Guyger entered the wrong apartment and shot Jean, claiming she thought he was an intruder.
One of the big concerns for the defense is how much publicity the case has received.
It may only be a formality before Judge Tammy Kemp on Tuesday of scheduling a legal action a few weeks down the calendar. It’s called filing a pass slip. But nothing about the case is just a formality, and nothing about it will likely get a pass from the media and courthouse observers.
The last public image of Guyger was her book-in photo by Mesquite police after being indicted for murder.
Jean was killed by Guyger in September when Guyger said she mistook his Southside Flats apartment for hers and thought he was an intruder. Tuesday will be the first step down a legal road of proceedings that will end with her facing trial.
“The attorney will go down to fill out what’s called a pass-slip, do a letter of representation and then they’ll meet with the prosecutor,” explained George Milner, an attorney who is not involved in the case.
Jason Hermus, the chief prosecutor for the Public Integrity Unit, is the lead prosecutor.
Milner said it is the normal process in any murder case except “in a case like this there probably would be no plea offer or plea negotiations. It’s just too big a case. Too premature for that.”
The case has garnered international attention because Jean was a Saint Lucia native and because of how it happened with an off-duty Dallas officer thinking she was in her home.
Milner feels like it’s too premature to request a change of venue but it will eventually take place.
“You've got people who believe she should never have been charged or they believe she's already guilty, and there’s no in-between,” Milner said. “And I mean if you're just loosely paying attention to the news, you know about this case.”
Robert Rogers, a longtime police attorney and former prosecutor Toby Shook make up Guyger’s defense team. They’ve now added appellate specialist Mike Mowla to the team.
“It’s a perfect team,” Milner said. “That’s a very good team.”
Milner expects a flood of media to report on the team's every action until trial.
“I suspect they'll be media from all over the place — not just local and regional. I think there'll be media from everywhere,” Milner said.
The defense will also now be able to get discovery, meaning they’ll obtain copies of what the state has as it relates to the case.
There is likely to be several more basic steps in the case before important motions are filed.