Former Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean will face a murder charge in the shooting death of Atatiana Jefferson, The Dallas Morning News reported.
A Tarrant County grand jury indicted the 35-year-old on Friday for allegedly shooting Jefferson inside her mother’s home on Oct. 12.
“Though her family is relieved by the news, we need to see this through to a vigorous prosecution & appropriate sentencing,” Jefferson family attorney Lee Merritt said in a tweet, the newspaper reported.
On the night of Jefferson’s death, a neighbor had called a non-emergency line after noticing that the doors to the home were open and the lights were on at 2:30 a.m. The Morning News said that Jefferson was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew when police arrived and did not announce their presence.
The boy told police in interviews that his aunt heard noises outside, grabbed a handgun and pointed it at a window. The newspaper reported that Dean’s body camera shows him turn toward a window, yell at Jefferson to put her hands up and then shoot her just seconds later.
Dean resigned from his job two days later.
The Fort Worth Police Department released a statement that said it “respects the grand jury’s decision and will continue to work closely with the Tarrant County district attorney.”
At a Friday news conference, Merritt pointed to the case of former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, who was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison for murdering Botham Jean in his apartment. Guyger said she had accidentally walked into his apartment instead of her own and mistook him for a burglar.
“I don’t second-guess the jury in the Amber Guyer case… “Merritt said but added, “We’re hoping for a sentence beyond 15 years.”