FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A Texas judge on Wednesday delayed
the murder trial of a former police officer who is charged with fatally
shooting a Black woman through a back window of her home in 2019.
Aaron Dean's trial in the killing of 28-year-old Atatiana
Jefferson in Fort Worth had been set for Jan. 10. Judge David Hagerman granted
a defense motion to postpone it because two experts were unavailable to testify
Hagerman tentatively scheduled jury selection to begin on
May 9 and opening statements on May 16.
“No further continuances will be granted in this case,”
Any further pretrial motions, including a defense request to
move the trial out of Tarrant County, are tentatively scheduled to be heard on
The case has been repeatedly delayed since Dean shot
Jefferson during a late-night wellness check at her mother’s house. Many cases
were delayed when the coronavirus pandemic caused courts across the country to
postpone jury trials.
Dean, 37, 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 that showed Dean walked 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 went to the
house after a neighbor called a non-emergency line to report that the front
door was ajar.
Dean, who is white, was not heard identifying himself as
police on the video. The city’s police chief at the time, Ed Kraus, said Dean
acted without justification and that there was no sign he or the other officer
who responded even knocked on the front door. Kraus said Dean would have been
fired if he had not quit without giving a statement to investigators.