Former Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean was indicted by a grand jury Friday for the death of Atatiana Jefferson, whom he fatally shot in her own home in October while she played video games with her young nephew. Dean was previously charged with murder, an unusual outcome in cases of police violence, and indictment is the next step toward trial.
Jefferson's family's lawyer, S. Lee Merritt, celebrated the news on Twitter but cautioned that the legal battle is far from over. The family "remain[s] cautious that a conviction and appropriate sentence is still a long way away," he wrote.
The county prosecutor's office has announced plans to "prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law," though a trial date has yet to be announced. Dean, who is white, shot Jefferson, who was black, while conducting a welfare check because a neighbor called a non-emergency line after noticing an open door on Jefferson's house late at night.