DALLAS COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – He was a six-year veteran with the Balch Springs Police Department when he shot and killed an unarmed teenager in 2017, today attorneys for Roy Oliver argued his trial should be moved out of Dallas County — the judge however disagreed.
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Oliver was fired three days after shooting and killing Jordan Edwards. The 15-year-old, his two brothers and two other teens were driving away from a party when prosecutors say the former police officer opened fire on their vehicle. The bullets shattered the front passenger-side window and struck Edwards.
Oliver had said that he and his partner were in fear for their lives because the car Edwards was in was reversing toward them “in an aggressive manner.” Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber reviewed police video footage that disproved Oliver’s claims and said the recording actually showed the vehicle driving away from the officers when Oliver fired his rifle.
Oliver was later arrested and charged with murder. A grand jury indicted him last summer.
Oliver’s attorneys attended a hearing to request a change of venue and this morning presented their case saying that the overwhelming pre-trial publicity had prejudiced potential jurors in Dallas County.READ MORE: Homeowner Terry Duane Turner Charged In Slaying Of Motorist Adil Dghoughi In His Driveway
The defense submitted hours of media coverage — from TV, online and print — to try and prove their point. The lawyers took particular issue with photos and videos that showed Oliver’s mug shot and him in a jailhouse uniform.
The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office argued the trial should remain in the city and that there had been no damaging representation of Oliver to the public.
Ultimately District Judge Brandon Birmingham ruled the extensive news coverage of the shooting had not been prejudicial.
“I do know that from the stories that I’ve seen, and the stories that have been provided to this court, I do be believe that they are not inflammatory,” Judge Birmingham said. “I believe that the courts have considered that news stories that are accurate and objective don’t run afoul of anybody’s constitutional rights and I don’t think that what’s been reported has been inflammatory to that extent.”
In addition to the murder charge for Edwards death, Oliver is facing several counts of aggravated assault by a public servant.MORE NEWS: Dallas Neighborhood Crime Spike Has Many Questioning, 'Is Uptown Going Downhill?'
The trial is scheduled to begin Thursday, August 16.