Defense team for former Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean gets judge removed from murder trial
Aaron Dean’s defense team successfully argued that the judge assigned to Dean's murder trial is so hostile and biased that he needs to be removed.
Justice Lee Gabriel agreed to kick 297th District Court Judge David Hagerman off Dean's case, according to court documents signed Tuesday.
Dean is a former Fort Worth police officer charged with murder in the 2019 on-duty killing of Atatiana Jefferson. Dean shot Jefferson through the window of her own home without identifying himself as a police officer, body camera video shows.
Dean’s trial has been postponed repeatedly at the defense's request. Jury selection was finally set to begin June 21, but Dean’s attorneys argued again that date would conflict with other trials this summer and attorneys’ planned vacations.
Hagerman refused to change the date again, Dean’s attorneys said in court documents, so they filed a motion for Hagerman to recuse himself.
Hagerman refused to step down voluntarily, but Tuesday's new order means he must.
The case has been transferred from Hagerman's court to the 396th District Court of Tarrant County, where Judge George Gallagher presides, court documents show.
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