Attorneys for ex-Fort Worth officer Aaron Dean are looking to change the venue for his court appearance. They filed a change of venue motion on Monday, along with numerous others.
In the change of venue motion, Dean’s attorneys state, “Since the date of the alleged offense and because of the considerable discussion in the community, there exists in said [Tarrant County] so great prejudice against Mr. Dean that he cannot receive a fair and impartial trial in Tarrant County.”
Dean is accused of shooting 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson during a late-night wellness check at her mother’s house. This case, among many others, was delayed when the pandemic caused courts to postpone trials.
Dean resigned from the city police department two days after the shooting occurred. He was then charged with murder and released on a $200,000 bond.
After the shooting, body camera footage was released from Fort Worth Police. The footage showed Dean walking around the side of the house, pushing through a gate in a fenced-off backyard, and firing through a window a split-second after yelling for Jefferson to show her hands. Dean was not heard identifying himself as police on the video.
The police chief at the time, Ed Kraus, stated that Dean acted without justification and there was no sign he or the other officer who responded knocked on the front door.
According to court documents, Jefferson’s youngest nephew witnessed the shooting and told investigators that she pulled a gun from her purse to investigate the noise she heard outside.
Other motions that Dean’s attorneys presented include requests for access to physical evidence, the names of grand jury witnesses, personal information about grand jurors, and an objection to separating jurors during deliberations.
A judge is set to rule on all motions during a hearing on December 6. Dean’s trial will officially begin on January 4, with testimony starting on January 10.
If convicted, Dean could serve life in prison.