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Trial date set for former officer who fatally shot Atatiana Jefferson

Jefferson, 28, was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew at her Fort Worth home when Dean walked into the backyard.

TARRANT COUNTY, Texas — Note: the video above is from one year after Jefferson's death.

A trial date has been set for the former Fort Worth police officer charged in the death of Atatiana Jefferson, nearly two years after the fatal 2019 shooting.

Aaron Dean is charged with murder in Jefferson's death. On Monday, court records showed the jury trial has been set to begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16 in Tarrant County.

Court proceedings had been paused because of the pandemic.

On Oct. 12, 2019, a neighbor had called police requesting a welfare check after he saw the door open at Jefferson's Fort Worth home. The officers were told it was an "open structure" call. They parked around the corner.

Jefferson, 28, was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew at her Fort Worth home when Dean walked into the backyard. She had grabbed her gun and gotten up to look out the window when she was shot, police records show. Jefferson died at the scene.

Credit: Tarrant County Correction Center
Former Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean was arrested on a murder charge Monday for the Saturday shooting death of Atatiana Jefferson.

The arrest warrant states three times that Dean did not announce that he was a police officer when he walked around the house. 

Dean did not give any statement to Fort Worth investigators on why he shot, officials said. In such investigations, it's common for a police officer to give a statement to investigators and to the internal affairs division of their police department. 

Dean resigned before he could be fired, Fort Worth Police Department officials said.

Fort Worth City Councilmember Chris Nettles said Monday was long overdue.

"Our community has waited for Aaron Dean to receive a trial date for 708 days. We marched, we protested, and we demanded justice for a woman murdered in her own home — Atatiana Jefferson," he said in a statement.

"I believe that the activism of our community, and our persistence for demanding justice, helped bring this day to fruition. It’s time for our city to stand up and protect all of its residents — regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic status, or employment — but today, we deserve to celebrate this victory."