Ex-Officer Gets 11-Year Sentence For Fatally Shooting Atatiana Jefferson

Aaron Dean, a former Fort Worth, Tex., policeman was convicted for killing the 28-year-old while responding to a non-emergency call.

The former Texas police officer who fatally shot Atatiana Jefferson, a 28-year-old Black woman, at her home in 2019 was sentenced on Tuesday (Dec. 20) to 11 years and 10 months in prison, the Associated Press reports.

Last Friday (Dec. 15), a Tarrant County jury found Aaron Dean, 38, guilty of manslaughter after more than 13 hours of deliberation. Dean had opted to have the jury sentence him instead of Judge George Gallagher.

Under the Texas code Dean faced between two and 20 years in prison from the jury, which also had the option of handing down a murder sentence instead of the lesser manslaughter conviction.

Ex-Texas Policeman Found Guilty In Killing Of Atatiana Jefferson

Jefferson was playing a video game with her then 8-year-old nephew, Zion Carr, on Oct. 12, 2019, at 2:25 a.m., when she pulled a gun from her purse after hearing a suspicious noise in the backyard.

Dean, who is white, was one of two officers responding to a nonemergency call from a neighbor about Jefferson’s open front door. Dean testified that he was standing outside a bedroom window when he saw a figure pointing a gun at him. He yelled an order to drop the gun and fired a single shot through the window.

The two sides dispute whether Jefferson pointed her weapon at Dean. What’s not disputed is that Dean never identified himself as an officer.

Police body-camera footage confirmed his failure to identify himself, which he admitted on the witness stand, adding that his actions that night were “bad police work.”

Ex-Officer Who Fatally Shot Atatiana Jefferson Makes Admission At Murder Trial

During victim impact statements following the sentencing, Ashley Carr called her sister, Atatiana Jefferson, amazing and said her heart breaks knowing her family and the world lost a beautiful ray of sunshine, according to local station WFAA.

"My sister did not do anything wrong. She was in her home, which should have been the safest place for her to be and yet turned out to be the most dangerous. She was murdered, and as her big sister, I live every day with the pain that I could not do my job and protect her," Carr said.

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