How did Jim Lane die? Fort worth ‘visionary’ cause of death explained

Jim Lane, a former councilman and defense counsel for Aaron Dean, passed away at the age of 79. Let’s see how did Fort worth ‘visionary’ Jim Lane die and Jim Lane cause of death in detail.

How did Jim Lane die?

Jim Lane, one of the defense lawyers for former Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean, who is accused of killing Atatiana Jefferson by shooting her, has passed away.

A day before the jury selection phase of Aaron Dean’s trial was scheduled to start, Jim Lane, who represented Dean, passed away early on Sunday.

Jim Lane Cause of death

The week before Thanksgiving, Lane reportedly fell and injured himself. Just before he passed away on Sunday, Lane was hospitalized and then transferred to hospice care.

Jim Lane cause of death was not disclosed yet. There are no information available about Jim Lane cause of death.

Medico topics have been trying to reach out to the family and relatives for comment on the incident. So far no responses have been received. We will update the page once enough information is available. More information on Jim Lane cause of death will be added soon.

Who was Jim Lane?

Lane was born in Uvalde but spent a lot of his time visiting family in Tarrant County, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Baylor University awarded Lane with a law degree after he completed his undergraduate studies at Texas Christian University.

Jim Lane, wife Janet and son Jake.

(Paul Moseley Star-Telegram archives)

According to his website, Lane had been a captain in the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General Corps and had practiced law for many years in Texas.

A criminal defense attorney with a Tarrant County office, Lane also handled personal injury cases, aviation pilot FAA enforcement proceedings, and military court martial defense.

After Graduation

Lane briefly studied aviation law at Southern Methodist University after receiving his degree from Baylor before being drafted.

Lane received a notice for a new assignment after some time spent defending service members convicted of drug offenses as a military attorney: to defend Sgt. Charles Edward Hutto and other troops were accused of participating in My Lai.

Roy Oliver (centre), is listening to Jim Lane (left) and Miles Brissette, his defense counsel. 
(Staff Photographer Rose Baca)

Board Secretary

Former Fort Worth City Councilman Lane made an unsuccessful run for mayor. 

He was chosen to serve as secretary for the years 2019 through 2020 after being elected to the  Tarrant Regional Water District board in 2006.

He worked to promote Fort Worth, particularly the Stockyards where he created the Longhorn Cattle Drive while serving on numerous boards and committees.

Lane’s own firm

When Lane was a 24-year-old lawyer serving in the U.S. Army, he first gained notoriety by defending soldiers who had been implicated in the slaughter at My Lai.

He went home three years later to practice law after obtaining an acquittal for his clients. He chose to live and work on the city’s north side and established a legal firm there.

Aaron Dean case

Most recently, Lane led the defense team for Aaron Dean, the policeman charged with killing Atatiana Jefferson.

Dean is accused of murder in connection with the shooting death of Atatiana Jefferson in October 2019.

28-year-old Jefferson was staying at her mother’s house when a neighbor reported that the door was open and the lights were on.

According to the authorities, Dean did not identify himself as a police officer before fatally shooting Jefferson, who was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew when she heard noises outside the house and decided to arm herself.

Another extension

Jury selection for Dean’s trial was scheduled to start on Monday after several delays, one of which was partially brought on by Lane’s ill health.

It’s unknown whether state District Judge George Gallagher, who is presiding over the trial, will issue a further extension or how Lane’s passing will affect the trial’s timeline.

The prior case’s State District Judge David Hagerman expressed frustration with the continued holdups and gave Dean’s defense team the go-ahead to represent the former officer with or without Lane.

“I do believe the judge will give defense a continuance to regroup, do some reassignments and to see if they want to bring on another attorney to assist,” Former Prosecutor Baston said.

Public Office

In 1978, he launched his first run for public office, losing to a rival for the state Senate. He made another unsuccessful attempt in 1982, lost again in 1989 when he ran for Congress, and then succeeded in 1993 when he was elected to the Fort Worth City Council.

He remained there until 2005 when he made the decision not to run for office again. At City Hall, where he frequently attempted to serve as a mediator but was never hesitant to confront someone, his cowboy hat, cowboy boots, and cowboy-cut suits were recognizable brand elements.

On June 16, 2003, Jim Lane—at the time member of the Fort Worth city council—stands close to the Fort Worth Livestock Exchange Building. 

RON T. ENNIS Star-Telegram archives

An Outspoken Councilman

He was an outspoken councilman throughout his term who fought for issues including restoring the Rose Marine Theater, renovating LaGrave Field so the Fort Worth Cats minor league baseball franchise could return to the city, and working on tax abatements to bring jobs to the Alliance area.

As a tenacious and dedicated councilor, Lane had more success than failure.He sought to have “Molly,” the famous longhorn, recognized as the city of Fort Worth’s emblem.

He advocated for Fort Worth to be chosen over Dallas as the location for the Texas Motor Speedway.

After the city resorted to using carts to collect rubbish, Lane worked to improve the trash-collection system, often sharing images of trash and grilling authorities.

Texas Motor Speedway

He gained notoriety in his capacity as a councilman in 2005 when Texas Motor Speedway was mistakenly stated as being in Dallas in promotional materials for the O’Reilly 300 Busch Series race.

Lane launched a letter-writing campaign to criticize O’Reilly Auto Parts for the error since his district includes the raceway.

According to a 2005 April issue of the Star-Telegram, Lane said at the time, “I would like the good citizens of Fort Worth to remind them that the Texas Motor Speedway is in Fort Worth.”

While you’re at it, send a letter to the American Airlines president requesting that he instruct his pilots and flight attendants not to welcome passengers back to Dallas.

1971 massacre

According to Lane, he realized the psychological impact of the Army’s training on its soldiers’ perceptions of the adversary as inferior to humans. Lane later claimed that the training rendered the massacre “inevitable.”

Lane told the Star-Telegram in 1999,

“They had been trained to dehumanize their enemies,”

“It truly was awakening. I woke up one day and realized what I was in wasn’t what my mother and daddy told me about World War II and Korea. There was something terribly wrong here, and we were not telling the truth.”

Lt. William Calley was the only soldier found guilty of his involvement in the 1971 massacre; Lane’s clients were cleared. However, Lane was still plagued by recollections of My Lai decades later.

Lane’s Interview

In 1993, when he was getting ready to make his first successful bid for the Fort Worth City Council, he told the Star-elegram,

“On one hand, was very proud of myself as lawyer, like all lawyers are, because that’s what was trained to do. “On the other hand, I was in a total state of shock because every time I saw a woman with a baby on her hip, all I could think about was one of my clients who … had shot some women and one of the women was standing there with a baby on her hip.”

He traveled to Reggio Emilia, Italy in September 2001 as a member of a group of city representatives to Fort Worth’s sister city.

An important goal of the tour was to mend strained ties that had developed between Fort Worth and its sister city due to rallies against the Texas death sentence.

The group was left stuck in Europe following 9/11 as a result of temporary flight cancellations by the United States.

Tributes to Jim Lane

Many people expressed their profound sympathies to his family and expressed how much they loved him.

Lane was hailed by the city’s current mayor, Mattie Parker, as “trailblazer” who devoted decades 

Charlie Geren, member of the Texas House, tweeted that Fort Worth “would miss [Lane].”

Judge Glen Whitley, the outgoing Tarrant County judge, described Lane’s legacy as that of “public servant who left Tarrant County and Fort Worth better than he found it.”

G.Garron tweeted,

“May his memory be a blessing… Notable timing given today’s S-T coverage of the Dean trial…hopefully none of the participants will use Mr. Lane’s passing to further delay / complicate the justice that ALL parties deserve..”

Manny Ramirez tweeted,

Jim Lane was an incredible man, who lived an incredible life. His impact will be felt for generations in Fort Worth and Tarrant County. I am thankful for the wisdom you shared and I’m proud to have known you. Rest easy my friend. May God continue to watch over Janet and Luke.”

Amy Duncan Funnel tweeted,

“I had the privilege of meeting Jim and his wife at his incredible office not too long ago. He has left quite a legacy. I wish I could’ve talked with him more.”

Claire wood tweeted,

He will be missed . Such a nice man. He used to bring his burro to children’s events at First United Methodist. The kids loved it.”

One of the worst things anyone can go through in life is losing a loved one. Any journey must have a destination at the end. The person’s time on earth has regrettably come to an end now that they have died.

We wish him eternal peace and send our thoughts and prayers to his loved ones, family, friends. May he rest in peace.


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