A legal dispute that delayed services for slain woman Atatiana Jefferson was resolved in a court hearing Monday, with relatives finally hammering out an agreement for her funeral.
Jefferson’s homegoing is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at the Concord Church in Dallas, Texas, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. Lawyers for the family, who’ve been at odds over the funeral arrangements, spent seven hours negotiating before reaching a final decision.
A service for the young woman was originally scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 19 at The Potter’s House in Dallas, but was postponed after a judge granted a temporary restraining order filed by her father, Marquis Jefferson, who claims relatives deliberately excluded him from the funeral plans.
The funeral service of Atatiana Jefferson will proceed Thursday October 24th 11AM at Concord Church 6808 Pastor Bailey Drive Dallas TX 75237. The service will be open to all members of the community hoping to pay their respects to Atatiana and her family. pic.twitter.com/A2mjMvLPms
— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) October 21, 2019
Jefferson, who’s described as a “father figure” but listed as Atatiana’s father on her death certificate, has been feuding with his daughter’s aunt, Venitta “Bonita” Body. Body had been handling the young woman’s funeral plans alongside Atatiana’s siblings and other relatives.
In his petition, Marquis argued he would suffer “immediate and irreparable injury for which there’s no adequate remedy at law” if Body and the Golden Gate Funeral Home were allowed to go through with the service without his input.
Observers following the family’s journey chimed in after attorney Lee Merritt posted an update on Twitter.
The father had every right to be involved. He was against the go fund me bc he had an insurance policy and wanted to use it. Also bc the go fund me was set up outside of the family. The judge sided with him for a reason
— Organized procrastinator (@lovemochafro) October 22, 2019
Sad that the father had to go to court to participate and be recognized in his own child’s funeral.
— Me (@Fromthelower9th) October 22, 2019
On Monday, Judge Brenda Hull Thompson issued a gag order at the hearing as the two parties settled their differences, according to the Star-Telegram.
Jefferson, 28, died in the early morning of Oct. 12 after a Fort Worth officer shot her through a window of her home. She was up playing video games with her young nephew at the time.
Then-officer Aaron Dean and his partner responded to the residence after a concerned neighbor dialed the police non-emergency line to request a welfare check, noting the doors to Jefferson’s home were open and all the lights were on.
Fort Worth police later clarified that the officers were actually responding to an “open structure call,” and thus did not announce themselves when they arrived.
Jefferson’s nephew, Zion, told investigators his aunt grabbed a gun from her purse and aimed it at the window after hearing noises outside, according to an arrest affidavit. Bodycam video showed the officer suddenly turn toward a window after spotting Jefferson, 28, inside and ordering her to “show your hands” before firing at her in a matter of seconds.
Interim police Chief Ed Kraus said there was “absolutely no excuse” for Jefferson’s killing.
Dean resigned from the force on Monday, Oct. 14, and has since been charged with murder in Jefferson’s slaying.
He’s currently out on $200,00 bond.