Families React to Aaron Dean Sentencing


Nysse Nelson, a family friend, speaks to the media after Dean's conviction | Image by CBS DFW

A jury continued sentencing deliberations Monday morning in the trial of Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean, who was convicted of manslaughter last week in the death of Atatiana Jefferson.

The Dallas Express was there as Dean’s and Jefferson’s family members were called to the witness stand Friday in the sentencing phase of the case. Judge George Gallagher presided.

Dean’s sister, a police officer for eight years with the Arlington Police Department, said that she disagreed with the verdict. Dean was originally charged with murder in the case, which came to trial three years after Jefferson was shot and killed in her home.

In October 2019, Dean was responding to a call about a house whose doors had been left open, as The Dallas Express has previously reported. Dean and his partner went to the rear of the house to investigate.

Jefferson, who was babysitting her then-8-year-old nephew, went to the window with her gun when she heard movement in the backyard. According to the prosecution and body cam footage, Dean then shouted “Put your hands up! Show me your hands!” and immediately fired his gun once. He hit Jefferson, who died from the wound.

Alyssa Dean, Aaron Dean’s sister, said that he couldn’t have handled the situation better and described his actions as a “split-second decision.”

“He did not know everything,” she testified about her brother’s job. “He knew he did not know everything — and he was eager to learn every day.”

Ashley Carr argued that her sister’s death has taken a toll on the family, specifically Atatiana’s nephew, Zion. Carr said that since Jefferson’s death, Zion has had to undergo counseling and will never be the same after witnessing his aunt’s shooting.

“Zion feels like all of this is his fault,” Carr said.

In the state of Texas, manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Dean’s defense attorneys are reportedly making a case for probation. Jurors may choose to recommend this if they decide on a sentence of up to 10 years.

The sentencing phase of the trial is expected to end Monday.

Aside from Dean’s sister Alyssa, other family members testified for the defense, including Dean’s mother, Donna, and one of his younger brothers, Adam.

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Kyev Tatum
Kyev Tatum
1 month ago

JUSTICE IS MURDER FOR AARON DEAN. “He let her bleed out. That’s murder on purpose. We are demanding a consent decree for Fort Worth Police.” Pastor Kyev Tatum

FORT WORTH, TEXAS | Now it’s time for Department of Justice to come in and file federal charges for murder and violating her civil rights. Aaron Dean let her bleed out. That’s murder in the first degree. He did it on purpose. Link: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/rcna62061 #JusticeisMurder

Cloradean Dunlap
Cloradean Dunlap
1 month ago

Unfortunate for him. Unfortunate for the person who died, but “learning”?