New documents submitted by attorneys on both sides of the Amber Guyger murder trial reveal some of the main issues that may come up in court.
A hearing in the case is scheduled for Friday morning at 9 a.m. Jury selection is set to start next month.
Guyger is set to face trial for the 2018 murder of Botham Jean. The now-former Dallas police officer claims she went to Jean's apartment thinking it was her own and mistakenly shot him, believing he was an intruder.
In the new documents, both sides appear to be anticipating certain issues about Guyger's character and her use of deadly force that might be brought up during trial and need to be discussed before being heard by a jury.
A new motion by the state says "the defendant will argue that her use of deadly force was justified as deadly force in self-defense." But the state says that argument requires reasonable "belief that would be held by an ordinary and prudent person in the same circumstances."
Criminal defense attorney Todd Shapiro is not involved in the case. He says the state may want to portray Guyger as a normal citizen who's held to the same standards as everyone else.
“Would an ordinary person in these circumstances have reacted in the same way that Ms. Guyger reacted? Would they have used the same amount of force?” Shapiro said. “Would they have reacted the same was as she did as opposed to a police officer reacting in the way she reacted?”
Another motion filed by the defense pleads for 'character trait evidence' to be allowed in court possibly to show committing a murder is not in Guyger's character.
“It seems from some of the things they’ve filed there may be some specific character traits they want to be able to get into about her that would shed some light on some positive character traits that may say she’s not the type of person that would’ve committed this kind of act,” Shapiro said. “That she’s not the type of person that would’ve committed a murder.”
Attorneys on both sides argue all these issues need to be heard outside the presence of a jury first in order to decide if they'll be allowed in court.
“I’m very intrigued on what’s going to happen,” Shapiro said. “From the venue, from the facts in the case, from the outcome, I think everyone will be watching it very closely.”
A judge has yet to decide on a defense request for a change of venue out of Dallas County.
For Friday’s hearing, court officials say Guyger isn't required to be there, but there is a two-day pre-trial hearing scheduled for August 19 and 20 where she must be present.