On Thursday, former Police officer Aaron Dean was found guilty of killing Atatiana Jefferson in her home on October 12, 2019.
During his murder trial, jurors found he was guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter. As a result, he now faces up to 20 years in prison along with a $10,000 fine.
The case relied on rather or not Dean shot Jefferson in self-defense. According to his attorneys Aaron Dean he only shot Atatiana Jefferson after seeing her pointing a gun directly at him.
But to the contrary, his police partner at the time, Carol Darch, testified differently. According to Darch, Dean never mentioned seeing a gun during the incident. Furthermore, he did not mention it as they rushed to search the house.
Based on bodycam footage, neither officer identified themselves as police when they arrived at Jefferson’s home.
Jefferson’s 8-year-old nephew at the time, was in the home during the invasion when police shot his aunt. He testified that Jefferson took out her gun after believing there was an intruder on her property.
The trial began last week, and the jury deliberated over two days.
The prosecution called on its first witnesses during the sentencing phase of the trial Friday morning.
Kyle Clayton, the psychologist conducted a pre-employment psychological evaluation on Dean back in March 2017. According to his evaluation “There were indications from the of grandiosity and some interpersonal difficulties.”
According to Clayton, this included “that this person would likely to be seen as domineering or over-controlling.”
“These profile types tend to be those who are very concerned with sort of the facade of superiority and not appearing passive or weak in any way,” he added.
Clayton testified Friday he asked Dean to rank himself on a scale from zero to 10, with 10 meaning he had zero flaws.
Dean ranked himself as a nine, Clayton said, adding Dean said he’d be a 10 “if not for what he categorized as some stupid things that he had done in the past to — as he described it — piss people off.”
“He was not psychologically suitable to be a Fort Worth police officer,” Clayton testified.
Ahead of Dean’s conviction, there were concerns about potential bias. The jury didn’t include any Black jurors. However, they seemed convinced by the evidence. As the AP reports, “under questioning from prosecutors [Dean] acknowledged numerous errors, again and again conceding that actions he took before and after the shooting were ‘more bad police work.’”
Jefferson’s family has been organizing a fundraiser on her behalf. “Since her murder her siblings have fought to keep Atatiana’s legacy alive Ange get her justice at great personal expense,” a GoFundMe page reads. Ashley Carr, Atatiana’s sister, is credited as the organizer. “The Atatiana Project provides tech training to kids like Zion– Tay’s nephew,” the page continues. “Tay’s family has refused quick settlements and are fighting Atatiana’s case vigorously in Federal Court. Her siblings have traversed the state of Texas and has gone as far as the Whitehouse and the seat of the United States Congress to demand justice for Atatiana.”
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