FORT WORTH, Texas - With the murder trial of former Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean expected to begin next week the judge, prosecutors and attorneys spent the day Wednesday eliminating potential jurors.
Lawyers gave prospective jurors a 25-page questionnaire earlier this week asking them a range of questions.
Dozens of prospective jurors were called into Judge George Gallagher's courtroom to take the stand. Each were flagged because they indicated on their written questionnaire that they had seen, heard or read something about the 2019 shooting death of Atatiana Jefferson.
No cameras were allowed during the process, but reporters in the courtroom were allowed to take notes.
At least a dozen candidates were dismissed because they readily admitted they formed an opinion regarding Dean's guilt or innocence that would influence a potential verdict.
Among the group questioned were a husband and wife, who testified separately. The wife admitted she could not be impartial and was dismissed. The husband affirmed he could fairly weigh the evidence presented at Dean's trial. He remains a prospective juror.
The racially diverse pool of people described what they remembered from viewing news coverage of the shooting.
At least two were asked about their participation in Black Lives Matter protests.
Other with distant relatives who work in law enforcement were also questioned whether that would affect their ability to serve impartially.
Some other candidates were released for a variety of reasons. One woman had a trip planned with her mother and is scheduled to leave next week. Another is moving away in a few days. Yet another just had a grandchild delivered prematurely yesterday.
Many life circumstances along with other challenges involved in narrowing the group down to 14 people.
14 jurors will be selected, 12 jury members and 2 alternates. Judge Gallagher says he anticipates the jury being seated no later than Friday morning.