“Took a woman’s life, 28 years old, in front of a child,” one person could be heard as spectators stood outside the courtroom.
The emotions are sure to be racing high when the trial for Aaron Dean, the former Fort Worth police officer who was charged with murder in the death of Atatiana Jefferson, begins on Jan. 10, 2022.
According to 5 NBCDFW, Dean was present at court on Tuesday, Nov. 16 when the date was established. Jury selection will be six days before the court proceedings.
“It needs to be tried because it’s been pending,” Judge David Hagerman told Dean’s defense team Tuesday.
Dean’s case was among many that were delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, which caused courts across the country to postpone jury trials.
He is accused of the deadly shooting of 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson during a late-night wellness check at her mother’s house. Dean did not comment to the spectators or the media present in the hallway.
The recently turned 37-year-old 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, which 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 originally went to the house after a neighbor called a non-emergency line to report that the front door was ajar.
Dean was not heard identifying himself as police on the video.
Ed Kraus, who was then the city’s police chief at the time, said Dean acted without justification and there was no sign he or the other officer who responded even knocked on the front door.
“We’re supposed to be trying the oldest cases first,” Judge Hagerman said, explaining how he will follow Texas’ code of the criminal procedure. “However, the court is not unmindful of priorities that need to be set on this case.”
Hagerman added all motions, including a request for a change of venue for the trial, must be filed by Nov. 30, 2021. Those motions are expected to be heard on the week of Dec. 6, 2021.
There’s currently a gag order in place, and Dean’s lawyers have not shared a comment regarding the upcoming trial date.