Timeline: The death of Atatiana Jefferson & the trial of Aaron Dean
FORT WORTH, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) — It has been just over three years since the shooting death of Atatiana Jefferson. Here is a full breakdown of the aftermath of Jefferson's shooting death leading up to the trial of Aaron Dean.
At 2:23 a.m. Oct. 12, 2019, Dean and another officer were called to an "open structure" call at 1203 E. Allen Ave.
According to police records, the details for the call were that the front doors to the home were open and that the vehicles were in the driveway. The caller said their neighbors are usually home but never have the door open.
When officers arrived, the front and side interior doors were open and the glass storm doors were closed. Both officers looked through each of the storm doors without seeing anyone in the front room.
Neither officer announced their presence.
Using his flashlight, Dean checked the vehicles in the driveway and then proceeded to the backyard—still not announcing his presence.
Moments later, Dean shined his light into a "back window of a dark room," where he saw someone inside.
"Put your hands up, show me your hands!"
Dean shouted, without identifying himself as law . He fired his handgun one time through the window, striking and killing 28-year-old Jefferson.
Jefferson's 8-year-old nephew—who CBS DFW will not be identifying—was inside the same room as Jefferson when she was shot. He was later interviewed by a forensic interviewer for Alliance for Children.
He told the interviewer that he and Jefferson were playing video games in the back bedroom when she told him she heard noises coming from outside, and took her handgun from her purse.
He said Jefferson raised her handgun and pointed it toward the window before she was shot and fell to the ground.
10/12/2019 — Fort Worth Police Officer Shoots, Kills Woman Inside Her Own Home
Two days later, on Oct. 14, 2019, Dean resigned from the Fort Worth Police Department before he was arrested and charged with Jefferson's murder. He was with the department for one year and six months before the shooting.
Police records indicate that Dean's legal counsel said he would provide a written statement detailing his account of the shooting, but he never did. He also declined to provide an interview on the date of the shooting.
10/12/2019 — Former Fort Worth Officer Aaron Dean Bonds Out Of Jail After Murder Charge
DEAN GETS INDICTED FOR MURDER
On Dec. 20, 2019, officials with the Tarrant County District Attorney's Office confirmed to CBS DFW that a grand jury indicted Aaron Dean on the charge of murder.
From a hospital bed, Yolanda Carr shared the agony of losing her daughter.
"At least we know that justice was served, and he will be accountable for murder," she said. "He murdered my baby in my home. She wasn't doing anything. She didn't do anything. She didn't do anything wrong."
The Fort Worth Police Department said in a later statement that it respects the grand jury's decision and will continue to work closely with the District Attorney's office but that, due to a gag order, could not comment any further.
12/20/2019 — Former FWPD Officer Aaron Dean, Who Shot & Killed Atatiana Jefferson, Indicted For Murder
JEFFERSON'S FAMILY SUES
Two years to the date of Jefferson's death, on Oct. 12, 2020, her family members filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the former officer and the city.
The federal lawsuit Jefferson's biological father, Jerome Eschor; her aunt, Venitta Body; and Arita Eschor as plaintiffs. It names the City of Fort Worth and Dean as defendants.
The lawsuit says Dean "intentionally and with conscious, callous, deliberate and unreasonably indifference" used excessive force in the fatal shooting.
The suit says the City of Fort Worth "knew or should have known that Defendant Aaron Dean exhibited a pattern of escalating encounters with the public," and failed to adequately train or supervise police officers.
"By their deliberate indifference, Defendants the City of Fort Worth Police Department implemented and encouraged policies, practices, and customs with deliberate indifference to the rights of citizens," according to the lawsuit.
TRIAL JUDGE RECUSAL
On June 28, 2022, the judge who was set to preside over the trial of former Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean was removed from the case.
A former state appellate court justice granted the defense's motion for recusal after attorneys successfully argued Judge David Hagerman showed bias against them during a recent hearing about the trial date he set.
The judge had already delayed the trial multiple times at the defense's request and wanted to stick with a start date of June 23. The lead defense attorney said it conflicted with a vacation request he had previously filed.
After that hearing, the defense filed a motion to recuse Judge Hagerman, accusing him of treating their team with anger and hostility.
Judge Hagerman had presided over more than two years worth of court proceedings related to Dean's indictment.
06/28/2022 — Judge removed from former Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean's case
DEAN'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY DIES
Just one day before jury selection was set to begin, Dean's defense attorney Jim Lane passed away.
Lane was a former Fort Worth City Councilman who unsuccessfully ran for mayor. He was elected to the board of the Tarrant Regional Water District in 2006 and was elected to serve as secretary from 2019 through next year.
11/27/2022 — Aaron Dean defense attorney & former Fort Worth Councilman Jim Lane dies at 79
Eight men and six women were selected Friday to sit as jurors in the murder trial.
The unusually large jury pool of 200 people was narrowed down to a few dozen by Thursday night, after a full day of attorneys questioning potential jurors about their opinions on law enforcement, and their willingness to potentially send a former officer to prison for five to 99 years.
Race has been an element of this incident since it happened, and there are no Black jurors among the 14 chosen.
12/02/2022 — No black jurors selected in Aaron Dean trial
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