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Judge Issues Publicity Restrictions In Trial Against Former Cop Who Fatally Shot Atatiana Jefferson

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - The judge presiding in the case of a former police officer accused of killing a woman in a house in Fort Worth, has already issued publicity restrictions over concerns about what potential jurors may hear.

Judge David Hagerman ordered the restrictions even before a grand jury has decided whether to indict Aaron Dean for the murder of Atatiana Koquice Jefferson, 28, this month.

Atatiana Jefferson
Atatiana Jefferson (courtesy: Lee Merritt)

Hagerman's order prevents anyone connected with the case from making statements about witnesses, evidence or any opinion about Dean's guilt or innocence.

"The Court finds there is a possibility that jurors may be inadvertently exposed to prejudicial publicity if an order restricting publicity is not entered in this case," he wrote.

The restrictions appear to mirror, almost word for word, publicity restrictions put in place by a judge in Dallas County during the trial against former officer Amber Guyger last month.

The exception to that is an additional restriction from Hagerman extending to "any lawyer who represents any witness or family member of the victim or defendant."

That addition appears to be directed at civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, who has worked with extended members of Jefferson's family after her death, and also Botham Jean's family after he was shot by Guyger.

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