Members of a Tarrant County jury in the fatal police shooting of Atatiana Jefferson three years ago must decide whether the officer in the case goes to prison for a significant number of years or goes home as a free man. They began their deliberations Wednesday afternoon.
The former police officer, Aaron Dean, took the stand in his own defense earlier this week, saying that he was frightened for his life when he fired a fatal bullet that killed Ms. Jefferson, 29, who was inside of her home babysitting her eight-year-old nephew.
Under cross examination, Dean testified that he did not alert anyone that he had seen a gun, including his partner, a female member of the police force.
Under cross examination, Dean admitted that his actions on the night of October 12, 2019 did not reflect quality police work when he fired through a window at the home where Ms. Jefferson’s mother lived.
During the trial, Dean was characterized as a biased member of the police force who held misgivings against the people who lived in the neighborhood where Ms. Jefferson was slain.
An attorney for Dean said that while he made mistakes he did not commit murder because he was in fear for his life, and that his actions were consistent with proper police training.
Prosecutors said that Ms. Jefferson had an expectation of privacy in her home and that Dean violated that expectation.
Ms. Jefferson’s nephew testified that he and his late aunt were playing a video game when they heard noises outside the home.
He said that neither he nor his aunt did anything that could be described as threatening towards the officer that fatal night.
Ms. Jefferson, a graduate of Xavier University in New Orleans was a salesperson for a medical supply company.