Fired Balch Springs Officer Indicted On Murder Charge In Jordan Edwards' Death
Roy Oliver, a former Balch Springs police officer, has been indicted on a murder charge by a Dallas County grand jury in the shooting death of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, prosecutors said Monday.
Oliver, 37, was fired in May for violating department policies after Balch Springs Police Department officials reviewed body camera footage of the incident, which showed Oliver shooting his rifle into a moving vehicle that was traveling away from him and another officer.
Edwards, a high school freshman, was leaving a party on April 29 with his two brothers and two other teenagers. Police arrived at the scene to investigate an underage drinking complaint when they heard unrelated gunshots and spotted the vehicle leaving.
Shots from Oliver's rifle pierced the front side passenger window, hitting Edwards in the head as he sat in the front seat.
The Dallas Morning News reported last month that no teenagers were drinking or using drugs at the party.
'Justice is proceeding'
In a press conference Monday afternoon, Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson said the case has been assigned to Brandon Birmingham's court, but a date has not been scheduled. First Assistant Michael Snipes is taking the lead on the prosecution, and the district attorney's office is hoping for a jury trial.
"I have a personal guarantee to Jordan, his family and this community that we will prosecute this case vigorously," Johnson said.
Johnson said citizens of Dallas County should know that "justice is proceeding effectively and thoroughly" and that her office is committed to fairness and justice for everybody regardless of race, class or background.
Oliver was also indicted on four charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon by a public official related to the other four teens who were in the car.
Oliver was charged with murder by the Dallas County Sheriff's Office in May, less than a week after the shooting. He turned himself in and posted bond.
Lee Merritt, the attorney for the Edwards family, tweeted about the indictment Monday afternoon.
We remain cautious. A murder indictment for Roy Oliver is appropriate but the fact is it's been +40 years since a cop was convicted in TX.— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) July 17, 2017
Merritt said the indictments are just "one step on the road to justice for Jordan Edwards and Jordan's family."
Unrelated assault charges
Oliver was indicted last month on two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon by a public servant in an unrelated incident, where he is accused of displaying a gun during a traffic accident.
Oliver was off duty in Dallas, when he was rear-ended by another vehicle, and according to a police report, he pulled his service weapon and kept it pointed at the ground.
No charges were filed by a Dallas officer who responded, but district attorney officials said last month that it "showed a pattern of behavior." The district attorney's office requested Oliver's previous bond be increased because he was considered a danger to the community.
Oliver paid $700,000 bond in the two new charges and the increased bond for the murder charge in June.
He faces up to life in prison, if convicted.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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