Judge Halts Funeral Plans For Atatiana Jefferson At Father's Request | KERA News

Judge Halts Funeral Plans For Atatiana Jefferson At Father's Request

Oct 19, 2019

A probate court judge has halted the funeral scheduled for Saturday for Atatiana Jefferson, the 28-year-old Fort Worth woman who was shot and killed in her home last week by a police officer.

On Friday, Dallas County Probate Court Judge Brenda Hull Thompson issued a temporary restraining order sought by Marquis Jefferson, the father of Atatiana Jefferson. The father sought the order to gain control over his daughter's funeral arrangements from her aunt, Bonita Body.

Judge Thompson scheduled a hearing for Monday morning to determine whether the restraining order should continue.

Marquis Jefferson argued that he had been denied any involvement in the funeral planning by the mortuary Body had engaged. He said that as his daughter's sole legal heir, the duty of arranging the funeral is his.

There was a private wake for Jefferson at The Potter's House in Dallas Friday night. A public funeral was to be held at the same location Saturday at 2 p.m.

Potter’s House founder Bishop T.D. Jakes was expected to deliver Jefferson’s eulogy, and Rev. Al Sharpton was to give special remarks during the service.  

Former Dallas Mavericks player Harrison Barnes and Philadelphia Eagles player Malik Jackson have offered to pay for the funeral.

Atatiana Jefferson was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew just before she was killed in her home on Oct. 12. She went to the window when she heard officer Aaron Dean outside, who was responding to a neighbor’s call for a welfare check. Dean shot her through the window. Police say he did not identify himself as a police officer.

Dean, 34, has resigned from the department, and was charged with murder Monday. He was released on a $200,000 bond.

Jefferson was killed less than two weeks after white former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of murder in the fatal shooting of her black neighbor, Botham Jean, inside his own apartment.

Jefferson grew up in the Dallas area. She graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana in 2014 with a bachelor's degree of science in biology, and her family said she worked from home selling medical equipment. Jefferson was considering going to medical school and had been studying for the Medical College Admission Test.

Jefferson loved playing basketball and video games with her nephew, but she also helped him understand he had to be responsible for getting himself ready for school each morning and wrote him a schedule to help him get organized, said her sister, Amber Carr.

"She helped him become more independent and self-sufficient," Carr said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.