Ex-Balch Springs officer indicted on murder charge in teen's death

A former Texas police officer has been indicted on a murder charge in the April shooting death of a teenager who was leaving a party.
 
Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson announced Monday that a grand jury indicted former Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver in the death of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards. Oliver was fired in May after police department officials reviewed body camera footage of the incident, which showed Oliver shooting into a moving vehicle traveling away from him.
 
Johnson said 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 and had posted bond.

“It is important to let our community know that justice is proceeding effectively and thoroughly at the Dallas County DA’s Office,” DA Johnson said. “This is the very first time we have issued an arrest warrant for a police officer before the case was presented to a grand jury. As we move forward, my office continues to be committed to seeking justice for Jordan and his family. You have my personal guarantee that we will prosecute this case vigorously.”

Oliver faces up to life in prison.

TIMELINE OF EVENTS: 

Saturday April 29: Jordan Edwards attends a party with his friends and family members in Balch Springs. Police are called to the house party on a report of intoxicated teenagers on a residential street. Police say when officers arrived on the street, they heard gunfire and then a car filled with passengers back towards them.

"There was an unknown altercation with the vehicle backing down the road towards the officers in an aggressive manner. An officer shot at the vehicle, striking a front seat passenger. The individual was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced deceased," according to a news release by Balch Springs police.

The Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office ruled his death a homicide, due to a rifle wound to the head.

Monday May 1: Balch Springs Police held a press conference and released new details on the officer-involved shooting. Chief Jonathan Haber says "After further investigation, I have additional information that is contradictory to the information that was provided to me yesterday."

Originally, Haber said when officers arrived on the street, they heard gunfire and a car filled with passengers backed towards them in reverse.

"I unintentionally, incorrect yesterday when I said the vehicle was backing down the road. In fact, according to the video that I viewed the vehicle was moving forward as the officer was approached."

Wednesday May 3: In a news conference, Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber said officer, Roy Oliver, violated department policies, but wouldn't elaborate which ones. It was noted that Oliver had 10 days to appeal the termination. 

Friday May 5: An arrest warrant for Roy Oliver was issued and signed by a Dallas County judge late Friday afternoon. He has been charged with murder. Friday evening, Oliver turned himself in to the Parker County Jail on a $300,000 bond.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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