Judge again delays Fort Worth ex-cop’s murder trial

Jun 13, 2022, 2:09 PM | Updated: 2:18 pm

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A Texas judge on Monday again delayed the murder trial of an ex-police officer who fatally shot a Black woman through a window of her own Fort Worth home in 2019.

State administrative Judge George Gallagher delayed Aaron Dean’s trial during a Monday hearing until another judge decides on a defense motion to recuse state District Judge David Hagerman. Hagerman has declined to recuse himself as judge presiding over the trial, which had been scheduled to start next week.

Dean is charged in the death of Atatiana Jefferson, whom he shot and killed in her home while responding to an October 2019 report about open doors. In court submissions, his attorneys have argued that Hagerman “has grown increasingly hostile, overbearing and rude” to them.

At a June 3 hearing, defense attorneys had sought a delay because lead attorney Jim Lane, who had been ill, and a key defense witness would be unavailable. Hagerman revised to follow courthouse rules and ordered the trial to proceed, defense co-counsels Miles Brissette and Bob Gill said in their motion for Gallagher to settle the scheduling conflict. At the Monday hearing, Gallagher said a hearing on the recusal motion would not be able to be held until at least the week after next, forcing the postponement of the trial from June 21.

At the June 3 hearing, Gill told Hagerman that he had submitted a vacation request letter for June 29 months before. Hagerman said he would not consider that issue. He and prosecutors pointed out they had canceled their vacations to be ready for the Dean trial.

“You’re not going to dictate the schedule to this court, Mr. Gill,” Hagerman said.

Hagerman has issued a gag order has been issued that prevents prosecutors and defense attorneys from speaking publicly about the case.

Jefferson was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew when a neighbor called a non-emergency police line to report that a door to Jefferson’s home was ajar. Police have said Dean opened fire from outside through a window after “perceiving a threat.”

The killing and ensuing delays have frayed relations between the Fort Worth Police Department and the city’s Black community.

Dean’s trial has been delayed for years as the COVID-19 pandemic ground courts across the country to a standstill. Hagerman denied a defense motion on May 4 to move the trial, then scheduled for May 16, to another county, arguing that media coverage of the case would make choosing an impartial jury impossible. Hagerman granted the one-month postponement to June 21 because of Lane’s poor health.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Former President Donald Trump sits in a courtroom next to his lawyer Todd Blanche before the start ...

Associated Press

Trump hush money trial enters new phase after defense rests without testimony from former president

Donald Trump's hush money trial is now closer to the moment when the jury will begin deciding the former president's fate.

2 days ago

UoA student convicted of first-degree murder after killing professor...

Associated Press

Former Arizona grad student convicted of first-degree murder in 2022 shooting of professor

A former University of Arizona grad student was convicted of first-degree murder after fatally shooting a professor on campus two years ago.

2 days ago

Rudy Giuliani bankruptcy filing defamation lawsuit...

Associated Press

Ex-NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Arizona’s Kelli Ward plead not guilty in fake elector case

Giuliani appeared remotely for the arraignment that was held in a Phoenix courtroom. His trial will take place in October.

2 days ago

President Joe Biden gestures after speaking to graduating students at the Morehouse College commenc...

Associated Press

Biden tells Morehouse graduates that scenes in Gaza from the Israel-Hamas war break his heart, too

Joe Biden on Sunday offered his most direct recognition of U.S. students' anguish over the Israel-Hamas war.

4 days ago

Rudy Giuliani...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani is the final defendant served indictment in Arizona fake elector case

Rudy Giuliani has been served an indictment in Arizona's fake elector case for his role in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

5 days ago

Houston storms cause widespread damage on Friday...

Associated Press

Some in Houston facing no power for weeks after storms cause widespread damage, killing at least 4

Houston storms cause widespread damage on Friday, May 17. Thunderstorms hit the southeastern part of Texas, killing at least four people.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

Judge again delays Fort Worth ex-cop’s murder trial