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Former Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean asks for new trial after manslaughter conviction

A photo of Aaron Dean, a white man with short, reddish-brown hair, taken from behind. He's looking over his left shoulder and his face is in profile.
Amanda McCoy
/
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Former Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean attends the first day of his murder trial on Monday, December 5, 2022, in Fort Worth. Dean is accused of fatally shooting Atatiana Jefferson in 2019 during a police call.

Aaron Dean was convicted of manslaughter in December for shooting and killing Atatiana Jefferson through the window of her home.

Story updated 1/18/23 at 4:00 p.m.

Former Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean is seeking a new trial after being convicted of manslaughter in December.

Dean was sentenced to nearly 12 years in prison for the on-duty killing of Atatiana Jefferson in October 2019.

He shot Jefferson through the window of her home while responding to a neighbor's call about her doors being open in the early morning hours. Dean testified that he thought the house was being robbed, and that he could see Jefferson pointing a gun at him through the window.

Nothing was wrong inside the home, prosecutors said.

Dean's attorney Bob Gill filed a request for a new trial Tuesday night.

"The verdict is contrary to the law and the evidence," Gill wrote.

The short document gives no further justification for the request.

Earlier this month, Dean's attorneys received permission to investigate the jurors who convicted him, because one of them allegedly sought opinions online about the trial while it was happening.

The judge forbade jurors from going on social media or discussing the trial.

The defense's motion also asks for a hearing on the request for a new trial.

Dale Smith, who prosecuted Dean's case for the Tarrant County District Attorney's office, responded to the filing in an emailed comment.

"We are confident that the judge applied the law correctly and that the jury followed the law and reached the appropriate verdict according to the facts," he said.

KERA reached out to Dean's attorneys for comment, but they did not immediately respond.

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Got a tip? Email Miranda Suarez at msuarez@kera.org. You can follow Miranda on Twitter @MirandaRSuarez.

Miranda Suarez is KERA’s Fort Worth reporter. Before coming to North Texas, she was the Lee Ester News Fellow at Wisconsin Public Radio, where she covered statewide news from the capital city of Madison. Miranda is originally from Massachusetts and started her public radio career at WBUR in Boston.