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Multiple Criminal Defense Lawyers See No Crime In Off-Duty Officer Shooting

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Dallas Police officer Amber Guyger's arrest warrant has some North Texas legal experts asking the same question.  "Where is the crime?"

Criminal defense lawyers CBS 11 talked to at the Dallas County Courthouse describe the Texas Rangers warrant as "weak on motive or intent."

They believe it will be difficult for the Dallas County DA's office to prove a crime.

The probable cause affidavit released Tuesday afternoon offers a detailed account of what happened inside Botham Jean's apartment last Thursday night.

Officer Amber Guyger told investigators how she walked into an apartment she mistook for hers and shot the 26-year-old man thinking he was a burglar.

Web Guyger Botham
Dallas police officer Amber Guyger stands charged with murder in the fatal shooting of Botham Shem Jean who she mistakenly thought was in her apartment.

CBS 11 asked several prominent criminal defense lawyers what they thought about the warrant.

All of them said they were surprised they didn't see words like "reckless" or "intentional" which they say would normally be found on similar documents in manslaughter and murder cases.

"It's an interesting read," said criminal defense attorney George Milner. "It doesn't read anything beyond negligence of that they simply do not specify how she is reckless which is the required mental state for manslaughter. It reads much more like an accidental killing. I mean if someone were to drop a gun accidentally and it fired and it hit somebody."

Milner and others say it doesn't necessarily mean the DA's office doesn't have a good case because the investigation is still ongoing.

But he says it's clearly a sign the Texas Rangers were careful not to implicate Officer Guyger.

"If it was a reasonable mistake of fact, that's an affirmable defense that is going to weigh into this thing very heavily," said Robert Hinton, another criminal defense attorney.

"In my honest opinion, I think if I represented her, she'd walk," said Milner.

Meantime, activists and leaders in the Dallas faith community believe Officer Guyger should be punished.

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