UPDATE: After nearly 13 hours of deliberations, a Dallas County jury found former Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver guilty in the murder of Jordan Edwards.
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – More than 10 hours of deliberation and there is still no verdict in the Roy Oliver murder trial.
Closing arguments wrapped up Monday in the trial of the former Balch Springs police officer accused of killing 15-year-old Jordan Edwards.
The panel heard emotional closing arguments from Oliver’s defense attorneys and prosecutors. The opposing sides painted two very different pictures of the former police officer: one of a protector, another of a murderer.
During closing arguments Dallas County prosecutors told the jury Jordan Edwards did not deserve to die. The 15-year-old, high school freshman was in the front passenger seat of a car full of teens that were driving away from a party in April of 2017, when Oliver fired a rifle at the car.
After the shooting Oliver lost his job with the Balch Springs Police Department and was later indicted by a grand jury.
“This innocent kid was not doing anything wrong, nothing. He deserved the opportunity to go to college,” prosecutor Mike snipes said. “He deserved the opportunity to make Odell Edwards a grandfather, and you took that away from him. You murdered him.”
Oliver’s defense team countered that their client shot out of fear for his partner’s safety. Attorney Jim lane told jurors, “This case boils down to a shoot or no shoot situation. We have to look at it from the eyes of this officer, the moment he made that decision.”
The seven days of testimony included a review of body camera footage of the shooting, and both Oliver and his partner taking the stand.
The jury must decide whether to convict or acquit Oliver of either murder or manslaughter. The judge also instructed that if the panel believes Oliver was reasonable in his use of force to protect himself or others, they must acquit.
The 10 women and two men resumed deliberations in the case before 8:30 a.m. If convicted of murder Oliver faces punishment of up to 99 years in prison. If convicted of manslaughter he faces up to 20 years behind bars.