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After many delays, Aaron Dean, the former Fort Worth police officer who fatally shot 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson in her own home, is now sitting on trial for her murder.
Dean claims in 2019 he did not see Atatiana holding a gun in the split-second before firing at her through the back window, prosecutors have said in opening statements.
The story of a White cop murdering a Black auntie playing video games with her nephew grabbed national headlines, sparking outrage and demands for accountability.
The murder trial of the Texas cop who killed #AtatianaJefferson begins today.
Aaron Dean shot Jefferson through a window as she played video games with her 8-year-old nephew after a nonemergency call about an open door, never identifying himself as police. He pleaded not guilty. pic.twitter.com/JgZlg4Auv4
— AJ+ (@ajplus) December 5, 2022
Responding to a neighbor’s non-emergency police call about an open front door, the former Forth Worth cop was charged with murder two days afteron October 12, 2019.
Jefferson’s nephew later told authorities his aunt pulled out a gun after hearing suspicious noises behind the house. Body-camera footage showed Dean didn’t identify himself as police.
“Put your hands up, show me your hands”: Asst. Co. District Attorney Ashlea Deener recites the last words #AtatianaJefferson heard before she was fatally shot by former Fort Worth police officer #AaronDean on October 12, 2019. pic.twitter.com/XmWX7HFo2S
— Law&Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) December 5, 2022
CBS News reports at the time, the case was unusual for the relative speed with which, amid public outrage, the Fort Worth Police Department released the body-camera video and arrested Dean.
Since then, the case has been repeatedly postponed amid lawyers wrangling, the terminal illness of his lead attorney and the COVID-19 pandemic.
After YEARS of delay, the murder trial of the former Fort Worth police officer accused of fatally shooting Atatiana Jefferson in 2019 is underway. Unfortunately, the jury doesn’t include a single Black juror. I am praying that her family receives a fair and just trial!
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) December 5, 2022
If history is any indicator, justice will be an uphill battle for the slain Jefferson, whose case will be determined by an all white jury.
The charge carries a possible sentence of 5 to 99 years. Aaron Dean has pled not guilty and is free on $200,000 bond.
#AaronDean trial: Attorney Lee Merritt gets admonished by judge Gallagher for watching the trial in nearby room while also being listed as a future witness. Judge claims he should’ve known better “…you’re a lawyer” @CBSDFW pic.twitter.com/BAJNJLOJ99
— Ken Molestina (@cbs11ken) December 5, 2022
Bodycam video showed Dean approaching the door of the home where Jefferson was caring for her nephew.
He then walked around the side of the house, pushed through a gate into the fenced-off backyard and fired through the glass a split-second after shouting at Jefferson, who was inside, to show her hands.
11 year old Zion Carr is testifying in the the murder trial of Aaron Dean after witnessing her being shot 3 years ago.
— Lee Merritt (@MerrittForTexas) December 5, 2022