UPDATE: Jurors deliberated for eight hours on Monday and around 8:00 p.m. decided to reconvene at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday.
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Jurors in the murder trial of former Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver listened to closing arguments from attorneys Monday.
Oliver is accused of killing Jordan Edwards, 15, as he sat unarmed in the back of a friend’s car driving away from a house party in April 2017.
The daily rotating jury of twelve today received instructions that they can consider murder and/or manslaughter as possible offenses. Comprised of 10 women and two men, a judge told the jury if they believe Oliver was reasonable in use of force to protect himself or others, he must be acquitted.
Jurors heard from two established ‘Use of Force’ experts who offered contrasting assessments of Oliver’s use of force. One expert called Oliver’s behavior “reasonable” while another deemed it “excessive and unnecessary”.
Oliver was fired by the Balch Springs Police Department just days after the deadly shooting. He had said that he was in fear for his life because the car Edwards was in was moving toward him “in an aggressive manner.” Video footage showed the vehicle was actually driving away from Oliver when he fired his rifle disproved those claims.
After the hearing last week lawyers for the former police officer said their client fired at the vehicle in an effort to protect his partner and that Oliver, 38, believed the car was being used as a weapon. They also said their client didn’t know that there were kids in the car.
Oliver’s then partner, Officer Tyler Gross, was the second person to take the stand in the trial Thursday. When asked about the moments before the shooting he testified that there was no time that evening when he feared for his life and therefor did not fire any shots at the car Edwards was in.
Gross said that after the shooting Oliver said to him “he was trying to hit you” — making a reference to the driver of the car carrying Edwards.
After Officer Gross left the stand jurors were shown Oliver’s body cam footage from the night of the shooting.
According to court filings from the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, Oliver “flipped off” the vehicle that held Edwards’ body following the shooting.