The trial of former police officer Aaron Dean in connection with the 2019 fatal shooting of Atatiana Jefferson began Monday after several delays.
Jury selection began on Monday when Judge George Gallagher said he hoped 12 jurors and two alternates would be on site by Friday.
There were concerns the trial would be delayed again after Dean’s lead attorney Jim Lane reportedly died Sunday morning, according to Dallas ABC affiliate WFAA, just a day before jury selection in the case was due to begin. Lane had been ill and two other attorneys took over as head of attorneys in May, according to the WFAA.
Dean is charged with the murder of Jefferson, a black woman who was allegedly fatally shot by Dean on October 12 at her home in Fort Worth, Texas.
The department said police received a call just before 2:30 a.m. to go to her home on East Allen Avenue.
Two officers arrived at the home shortly after and parked near Jefferson’s home, but not in front of the residence, according to officials.
The front door appears to be open in the body camera footage, but a screen door in front appears to be closed. The officer does not appear to be knocking.
Officials said officers walked around the back of the house and one of the officers observed a person through the back window of the house and opened fire.
Brandon O’Neil, Lt. Fort Worth Police Department said the officer who opened fire on Jefferson never identified himself as a police officer.
Body camera footage released by the department shows the officer approaching a back window of the home, gun drawn. The officer sees the woman through the window, shouts, “Hands up, show me your hands,” and fires a shot.
Video appears to confirm that the officer never identified himself as police before opening fire.
Jefferson’s 8-year-old nephew, who witnessed his aunt’s fatal shooting that morning, told investigators she pulled a pistol from her purse and pointed it at a window when she was killed, as if from a warrant for the officer’s arrest emerges.
Police officials said Jefferson had the right to protect herself and her nephew when she heard noises in her backyard and went to the window to investigate. According to the warrant, Jefferson was playing video games with her nephew when she was investigating the noise.
Dean’s attorneys asked the judge to change the location of Monday’s trial because of his high-profile character, but Gallagher said he would not rule on the request just yet.