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Ex-Texas Officer Gets Nearly 12 Years For Killing Woman In Home

The former Texas police officer who was convicted last week in the 2019 fatal shooting of 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson was sentenced to nearly 12 years in prison on Tuesday. Aaron Dean, a white Fort Worth officer who shot Jefferson through the window of her home while responding to a call from a neighbor about an open front door on Oct. 12, 2019, was found guilty by a jury of manslaughter, USA Today reports. The jury's decision was a rare conviction of an officer who shot and killed an armed person. Much of Dean's trial centered around whether he knew when he shot Jefferson, a Black woman, that she had a gun.  Jefferson's nephew Zion Carr, 8 at the time of the shooting, who was present and playing video games when she was shot, testified his aunt grabbed a gun when she heard noises outside. He said they had left the door open to air out the house after burning hamburgers.


Dean's former partner, Carol Darch, said she didn't see Jefferson's gun and didn't hear Dean say he saw a gun. Dean testified he fired in response to seeing Jefferson's weapon: "We’re taught to meet deadly force with deadly force," he said. "We’re not taught that we have to wait." Body camera footage released after the shooting showed Dean and his partner did not announce themselves as police when approaching the house. During testimony, Dean acknowledged he made errors and had done "bad police work" leading up to the shooting. Dean faced up to 20 years in prison. The jury had the option of sentencing him to probation.

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