Lawyers for former Fort Worth officer tell court they are needed elsewhere on murder trial date | PA

FORT WORTH, Texas — Two attorneys who represent a former Fort Worth police officer who is due to stand trial next month for murder have filed a motion outlining their work in seven other cases they claim local and state legal code assigns scheduling priority.

The lawyers, Bob Gill and Miles Brissette, did not explicitly request a new trial date for Aaron Dean, but wrote in the motion that they had commitments elsewhere on June 21, when jury selection is due to begin. in the Dean case, and in the weeks before that date.

Among the considerations, the attorneys said in the motion they filed Monday, is that Dean is not being held in jail, as are the defendants in the contentious cases. Dean was released on bail.

Planning in conflicting cases must be resolved by Texas criminal procedure code, state code and local rules, according to the motion. The other Gill and Brissette cases should be given priority, according to the motion, because codes and rules elevate the cases of other defendants, who were charged before Dean, or because of the age of the victim or the nature of the case. ‘offense.

Scheduling issues have beset the trial of Dean, who is charged with the death of Atatiana Jefferson in Fort Worth in October 2019. The case, in Tarrant County’s 297th District Court, has already been delayed by the unavailability of two defense expert witnesses, other defense witnesses conflicting lawyers’ schedules, the illness of a third dean’s lawyer and, first, by a stalemate in trials caused by the coronavirus pandemic .

A grand jury has indicted Dean, who is white, with murder after he shot Jefferson, a 28-year-old black woman, through a window while responding to a call about open doors at her home. Jefferson was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew, Zion Carr, when she thought she heard a prowler in the backyard, grabbed a handgun from her purse and pointed it at the window, said Zion to a forensic investigator, according to a warrant affidavit supporting Dean’s arrest.

Dean, 37, did not identify himself as a police officer and shot Jefferson seconds after seeing her through the window, according to body-worn camera video. He resigned from the police department the same day he was arrested, two days after the shooting. The department said he would have been fired had he not resigned.

Brissette is set to represent Clifford Glenn on June 23 at a final preliminary hearing in a child aggravated sexual assault case. The jury in Dean’s case is scheduled to hear opening statements on that date.

“Mr. Glenn is currently in poor health in the Tarrant County Jail. He has been confined for over 390 days based on these charges,” Brissette and Gill wrote in the motion.

Brissette is also due to start a bench trial for robbery on June 23.

Gill refers in the motion to several trials between now and the end of June that he is scheduled or preparing for. Gill also refers to his early June deadline to file an appeal brief.

The attorneys wrote that they were available to speak with prosecutors and Judge David Hagerman, whom they asked to grant a hearing on the motion.

Hagerman has occasionally expressed irritation at the hiccups that led him to continue. Most recently, on May 4, Hagerman adjourned the case because the Dean’s lead attorney, Jim Lane, has been ill for about two months and unable to prepare for trial.

Hagerman said the court “will not be held hostage indefinitely” by unknown factors, such as the length of Lane’s illness, which he said appears to be “serious, debilitating and possibly even serious.”

Hagerman described the postponement of the trial as a “monumental inconvenience” at the time.


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