Aaron Dean was found guilty of the murder of Attiana Jefferson in 2019

Aaron Dean, the former Texas police officer accused of shooting and killing a black woman, Atiana Jefferson, in her own home, has been found guilty of murder.

Dean was initially indicted on a murder charge. On Wednesday, the judge told jurors they could consider a verdict of manslaughter.

Dean would later be sentenced. The maximum sentence for murder in Texas is 20 years in prison.

Dean arrived at the Jefferson home on October 12, 2019, responding to a call about an open front door. During the long-running trial, it was discovered that Jefferson’s nephew had passed out and the door to the house had been left open for smoke from the hamburgers he had burned. A neighbor had reported the open door to a non-emergency police line, and Dean testified that he believed a burglary was in progress.

Dean went to the backyard of the house, looking for signs of a burglary. Jefferson was at a window with a handgun by his side. Jefferson’s nephew, who was 8 at the time of the shooting, said his aunt grabbed the weapon because she heard a noise outside.

The main question at the trial was whether Dean had seen the weapon before firing it. Dean testified that he saw the barrel of the gun pointed at him, so he opened fire; His defense attorney, Bob Gill, said in closing statements that Dean had the right of self-defense.

taking his stand, Prosecutor Dale Smith argued that Dean did not announce himself and did not give Jefferson time to follow orders such as raising his hand. Prosecutors have also alleged that Dean never saw a gun and described him as a “gung-ho, hard-charger” who “just shot.” Body camera footage released by the Fort Worth Police Department shows Dean being shot about a second after Jefferson addressed him.

Dean completed his police academy training a year prior to the 2019 shooting, and force quit Two days after the shooting, hours before he was arrested and charged with murder.

Jefferson’s death came nearly seven months before the death of George Floyd, which also sparked outrage around the world. CBS News DFW reporter Caroline Vandergriff said the scene after the verdict was read aloud was emotional, with boos audible in the background and chants of “no justice, no peace” from people watching the trial.

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