A Man Was Arrested During The Trial For Former Fort Worth Police Officer Aaron Dean

Sheriff’s deputies detained a witness at the trial of the former Fort Worth police officer who was found guilty of manslaughter in the shooting death of a Black lady inside her mother’s home after the witness refused to take the witness oath.

Just before 3 p.m., 42-year-old Manuel Mata was arrested inside Tarrant County’s 396th District Court.

Mata refused to take the oath when Dean’s defense attorneys attempted to compel her to testify. It wasn’t apparent what testimony Mata could have provided in court or why the defense would need him.

A gag order has been put in place that forbids Dean, the lawyers, and the witnesses from discussing the matter in public.

“Sir, by what authority?” As deputies were taking Mata into jail, he inquired before saying he needed a lawyer.

State District Judge George Gallagher ruled that Mata’s bonds were insufficient and that he was in default of his bond. Tarrant County jail records didn’t have any additional details. After being led from the courthouse, Mata could be heard shouting.

Atatiana Jefferson, 28, was fatally shot by Dean after he went to a 911 at her mother’s East Fort Worth residence. On Thursday, a jury found Dean guilty of manslaughter.

A murder charge that may have resulted in a life sentence was rejected by the jury. Dean may spend up to 20 years behind bars. Additionally, he qualifies for probation.

Jefferson was shot by Dean, 38, from the backyard through her bedroom window. On October 12, 2019, at about 2:30 a.m., a worried neighbor noticed that the doors to the house were open and the lights were on the inside.

She then contacted a non-emergency police number. After burning hamburgers for dinner, Jefferson and her 8-year-old nephew stayed up late playing video games and left the doors open to let the smoke out.

In order to take care of her ailing mother and Zion’s mother, who was also in terrible condition, Jefferson moved into the East Fort Worth residence.

After they made remarks about the verdict in the media on Friday, Gallagher reprimanded Chris Nettles and Mattie Parker, members of the Fort Worth City Council.

Parker and Nettles must return to court on January 4 for a hearing to decide if they can be put in contempt of court, according to Gallagher’s order. Lee Merritt, the family’s attorney, had already received a warning from the judge for making public remarks about the case.

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