The former Texas police officer who fatally shot Atatiana Jefferson through the window of her home was sentenced to nearly 12 years in prison on Tuesday for manslaughter.
Aaron Dean, a 38-year-old white former Fort Worth police officer, faced up to 20 years in prison for the murder of Jefferson, a 28-year-old Black woman in 2019.
Dean was found guilty of manslaughter last Thursday in the fatal shooting of Jefferson, who was at home playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew. He went to Jefferson’s home after a neighbor called a non-emergency line around 2 a.m. to say he had noticed that the front door was open.
According to CNN, Dean and his partner did not identify themselves as police before he shot Jefferson through a bedroom window.
He resigned from the force days afterward and was arrested and charged. The former officer has been out on bond for the last three years.
CNN reports that jurors deliberated for about 13 hours before handing down the sentence of 11 years, 10 months, and 12 days in prison. Jefferson’s relatives read impact statements after the sentence was announced.
“My sister did not do anything wrong,” said Ashley Carr, Jefferson’s sister. “She was in her home, which should have been the safest place for her to be and yet turned out to be the most dangerous. She was murdered and, as her big sister, I live every day with the pain that I could not do my job and protect her.”
“I pity your ignorance… You do not know enough to be ashamed. You’re not self-aware enough to understand your responsibility for this evil act,” she said in court.
Prosecutors asked jurors to sentence Dean to the maximum of 20 years in prison, saying anything less was a “travesty of justice.” Dean’s defense asked for a suspended sentence and community supervision, noting that he acted as a police officer and did not need rehabilitation.