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Amber Carr, sister of Atatiana Jefferson, dies after congestive heart failure diagnosis

Fort Worth Star-Telegram logoFort Worth Star-Telegram 1/30/2023 Kaley Johnson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Amber Carr, center, during the the murder trial of Aaron Dean, accused in the 2019 shooting death of Carr's sister, Atatiana Jefferson, on Dec. 5, 2022. © Amanda McCoy/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS Amber Carr, center, during the the murder trial of Aaron Dean, accused in the 2019 shooting death of Carr's sister, Atatiana Jefferson, on Dec. 5, 2022.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Amber Carr, the 33-year-old sister of Atatiana Jefferson, died Monday, according to the Carr family’s attorney.

Carr was hospitalized in early January and diagnosed with congestive heart failure and told she had days to live, according to attorney Lee Merritt. On Monday, Merritt wrote on Twitter that Carr had “passed away peacefully this morning.”

“She was surrounded by family and loved ones,” the tweet said. “We are asking for your continued prayers and support as her two young sons deal with her transition.”

Carr’s death comes about one month after Aaron Dean, the man who killed Carr’s sister, was sentenced after a jury trial. In December a jury found Dean guilty of manslaughter and sentenced him to about 11 years and 10 months in prison.

But Carr had to wait three years to see some semblance of justice for her sister, and the waiting took a toll. In a victim impact statement read at Dean’s trial, Carr wrote the long wait for Dean’s trial was not easy, and she was hospitalized for panic attacks and flat-lined four times in those years.

In Instagram post, Merritt posted about Carr’s death with the caption, “Police violence is a community killer. Thank you for everyone who has poured their support out on this family.”

Carr’s mother also died of congestive heart failure. Yolanda Carr died three months after Dean shot and killed her daughter, Jefferson, inside the family’s Fort Worth home in October 2019.

In 2020, Amber’s sister Ashley Carr told the Fort Forth Star-Telegram she had no doubt Yolanda Carr died because of the heartbreak and stress that Jefferson’s death caused.

After Dean’s sentence was announced Dec. 20, Ashley Carr took the stand to read a statement from Amber Carr, who was not able to be in the courtroom because of her illness.

“No amount of sentencing would make me feel as though we received some type of justice,” Amber wrote. “Atatiana should still be here. She had big dreams and goals.”

Amber Carr’s son, Zion, was 8 years old when Dean killed his aunt. Zion was in the house with Jefferson, where the two were playing video games.

Zion “has the weight of the world on his shoulders,” Amber wrote in her statement. “... He will become a successful young man the way that his Aunt Tay would want him to be.”

Jefferson’s family has a wrongful death lawsuit pending against the city and Dean in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.


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