An Officer From Texas Was Found Guilty In The Death Of Atatiana Jefferson!

Texas officer convicted in killing of Atatiana Jefferson

On Thursday, a former Texas police officer was found guilty of manslaughter in the 2019 shooting death of Atatiana Jefferson, who was shot through a rear window of her home.

Jurors considered charging Aaron Dean with murder but ultimately found him guilty of manslaughter. The white Fort Worth police officer was convicted more than three years after he fatally shot a black woman who was 28 at an open front door.

Dean, 38, will enter the sentencing phase of his trial on Friday, where he could receive a prison sentence of up to 20 years. If found guilty of murder, he could have been sentenced to life in prison. After the verdict was read, Dean, who had been out on bond, was taken into custody and lodged in the Tarrant County jail.

The jury deliberated for more than 13 hours over the course of two days before finding him guilty of manslaughter. Over the course of six days of testimony and arguments, the question of whether or not Dean knew Jefferson was armed when he shot her remained at the center of the case. In court, Dean testified that he had seen her weapon, but the prosecution contended that the evidence proved otherwise.

An attorney and friend of the Jefferson family, Lesa Pamplin, expressed satisfaction with the jury’s deliberate deliberation.

They didn’t rush the process and gave the evidence a thorough examination. And I’m glad they got the manslaughter charge,” Pamplin said.

“It’s Not Right,” Sparks Remarked. There Is No Justice In This

Both Jefferson’s and Dean’s relatives left the courtroom without saying anything. On the morning of Tuesday, October 12, 2019, a neighbor in Jefferson’s Fort Worth neighborhood called a non-emergency police line to report that Jefferson’s front door was open. Dean responded by shooting Jefferson.

At trial, it was revealed that she and her nephew had been playing video games together that night and that they had left the doors open to allow the smoke from some hamburgers the boy had burned to escape.

It's Not Right, Sparks Remarked. There Is No Justice In This

Fort Worth police released footage of the shooting and arrested Dean relatively quickly in response to public outrage, making this case stand out. He had graduated from the police academy the previous year and then abruptly left the force without providing any information to investigators.

Since then, numerous delays had occurred due to attorney infighting, Dean’s lead attorney’s terminal illness, and the global spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Body cam footage revealed that neither Dean nor the other responding officer immediately identified themselves as law enforcement upon arriving at the residence. Dean and Officer Carol Darch testified that they suspected burglary and snuck into the backyard, which was enclosed by a fence, to look for evidence of entry.

Dean, his gun drawn, yelled at Jefferson from outside the window for a split second before firing a single shot through the glass.

According to Dean’s testimony, he felt helpless when Jefferson pointed a gun at him. His actions both before and after the shooting were “more bad police work,” he admitted repeatedly under questioning from prosecutors.

Dean fired with Darch’s back to the window, but she testified that he never mentioned seeing a gun before firing or mentioned anything about a gun as they rushed inside the house to search.

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Dean testified that he had only mentioned the gun because he had seen it lying on the floor inside the house and that he had never rendered medical aid to Jefferson.

Zion Carr, Jefferson’s nephew, was eight years old and in the room with his aunt when she was shot. In court, Zion stated that Jefferson got out her gun because she thought there was an intruder in the backyard, but he gave conflicting testimony about whether or not she pointed the gun out the window.

A Police Officer Testified That He Saw Someone Point A Gun At Him

“As I started to get that second phrase out, ‘Show me your hands,’ I saw a silhouette,” the ex-cop said. When I realized that a gun was pointed directly at me, I fired off a single shot from my service weapon.

A Police Officer Testified That He Saw Someone Point A Gun At Him

In the midst of what he thought was a home invasion, Dean pulled his gun and explained his actions. As he told her, “we’re taught to meet deadly force with deadly force.” he opened fire through the window. He said, “We are not taught that we have to wait.

During cross-examination, however, Dean admitted that he had done “bad police work” that night by, among other things, shooting without first seeing her hands or what was behind her, not telling his partner that he had seen a gun, and entering the house before making sure it was secure.

Prosecutor R. Dale Smith questioned the defendant, “You’ve got another fellow officer from the Fort Worth Police Department entering a home that you have determined to be a burglary in progress with a possible armed assailant, and you didn’t think to tell your partner, ‘Hey there’s a gun inside?'”

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As Jefferson’s Nephew Put It, He Saw Her Get Shot

When his aunt heard a noise outside while he and Jefferson were up late playing video games, he said, she reached into her purse and pulled out a gun. He testified that he did not see her point the gun at the window.

Zion claimed he heard nothing and saw nothing from the outside, but that he saw his aunt collapse to the floor and begin sobbing.

As Jefferson's Nephew Put It, He Saw Her Get Shot

As he explained in court, he initially wondered if what he was experiencing was a dream. She was sobbing and trembling uncontrollably.

Prosecutors also presented testimony from Darch, Dean’s police partner, who said she went to the house with Dean to investigate.

She claimed she saw two open doors, lights on inside, cabinets wide open, and items were strewn across the living room and kitchen, all of which were indicators of a burglary.

According to Jefferson’s testimony, she was facing away from the window when Dean yelled at her to raise her hands. Darch stated that she started to turn around when she heard a gunshot. She then looked over Dean’s shoulder and saw a face in the window with eyes “as big as saucers.”

She testified that she never heard Dean say that Jefferson had a gun and that she never saw Jefferson with a gun.

Jefferson’s aunt was trying to protect her nephew from a prowler, according to the family’s lawyer. According to family attorney S. Lee Merritt at the time, she had moved into her mother’s Fort Worth home to care for her after she became ill. She was also the caretaker for her nephews.

The family attorney claims that Jefferson earned a degree in biology from the Xavier University of Louisiana in 2014 and then went on to work in the pharmaceutical equipment sales industry.

Final Words

Since then, numerous delays had occurred due to attorney infighting, Dean’s lead attorney’s terminal illness, and the global spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Body cam footage revealed that neither Dean nor the other responding officer immediately identified themselves as law enforcement upon arriving at the residence. Dean and Officer Carol Darch testified that they suspected burglary and snuck into the backyard, which was enclosed by a fence, to look for evidence of entry.

Dean, his gun drawn, yelled at Jefferson from outside the window for a split second before firing a single shot through the glass.

Author

  • Karan Sirari

    I am an author and a public speaker. I was born in India and have travelled to many different countries. I have a masters in public communication from California University and I love to write about famous peoples from different industries.

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