Ex-Fort Worth officer Aaron Dean's lawyers ask to delay murder trial

In a second day of hearings, a Tarrant County judge said the court will hear the defense’s request to delay and move an ex-Fort Worth officer’s murder trial on Wednesday.

During day two of the pre-trial hearing, Judge David Hagerman early on noted a change of venue motion would be addressed Wednesday. However, a shift in that plan came after a closed door meeting with attorneys.

"Court will first at 9 am take up the defense’s motion for a continuance," the judge said. "And if necessary, we will take up any other motions after that."

Attorneys for Aaron Dean, the former Fort Worth police officer charged with murder, say they will not be ready for trial in January. 

The motion for a continuance filed today states "two essential witnesses for Mr. Dean are not available for trial during the time scheduled by the court."

It goes on to say "both essential expert witnesses have previously scheduled commitments that will prevent them from being available in Tarrant County."

Before the turn of events, the court addressed several other motions, including a request for reports prepared by other agencies that supposedly investigated the shooting that left 28-year old Atatiana Jefferson dead. 

 Dean’s attorneys speculated about the FBI’s involvement. 

Aaron Dean is on trial for the shooting death of Atatiana Jefferson in 2019. He and his partner were responding to a call about an open door at Jefferson’s mother’s house.

CONTINUED COVERAGE: Atatiana Jefferson Murder

Jefferson was in the home playing video games with her nephew and reportedly pulled out a gun to investigate noises she heard outside.

Police body camera video showed Dean shooting through a back window after yelling at Jefferson to show her hands. He was not heard identifying himself as an officer.

Dean’s lawyers argue he will not get a fair trial in Tarrant County because of the extensive media coverage of the case and public activism. They also want to delay the start of the trial.

Currently, the trial is scheduled to begin in January. Jury selection is set for Jan. 4 with testimony set to begin on Jan. 10.


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