Atatiana Jefferson

Trial for Fort Worth Officer Who Shot Atatiana Jefferson Nears

The trial will begin Nov. 29 at the earliest, court officials say

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The trial for a former Fort Worth police officer who was charged with murder after shooting a Black woman through a back window of her home while responding to a call about an open front door in 2019 will start no earlier than late November, officials say.

Aaron Dean's case is set for a trial docket on Nov. 16, after which a date will be scheduled.

NBC 5 initially reported that the trial date was set for Nov. 16, but Tarrant County court officials said that date was always to be a scheduling hearing and that Dean's case will not go to trial before Nov. 29 -- although it could be set for a later date.

Dean is accused of the deadly shooting of 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson during a late-night wellness check at her mother's house.

His case was among many that were delayed when the coronavirus pandemic caused courts across the country to postpone jury trials.

Dean, who recently turned 37, resigned from the city police force two days after shooting Jefferson. He was charged with murder and released on a $200,000 bond.

Following the shooting, Fort Worth police released body camera footage that showed Dean walking around the side of the house, pushed through a gate into the fenced-off backyard, and fired through a window a split-second after shouting at Jefferson to show her hands. Police went to the house after a neighbor called a non-emergency line to report that the front door was ajar.

Dean, who is white, was not heard identifying himself as police on the video.

The city's police chief at the time, Ed Kraus, said Dean acted without justification and that there was no sign he or the other officer who responded even knocked on the front door.

Kraus said Dean would have been fired if he had not quit without giving a statement to investigators.

A judge has issued a gag order in Dean's case and his lawyers did not respond to calls and emails seeking comment.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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