Jury Deliberations Begin in Ex-Officer’s Murder Trial
DALLAS (AP) — Jury deliberations began Monday in the trial of a white former Texas police officer charged with fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager leaving a house party last year.
Roy Oliver was fired from the Balch Springs Police Department days after he shot into a moving car filled with five black teenagers, killing 15-year-old Jordan Edwards. The deliberations started Monday after attorneys gave their closing arguments. Oliver is being tried for murder and two counts of aggravated assault tied to the incident. The jury could also find him guilty of manslaughter, according to the prosecution.
Oliver took the stand last week and testified in his own defense, saying he decided to fire at the car when he saw it moving toward his partner, Officer Tyler Gross. Oliver testified he thought Gross was in danger.
But Gross previously told jurors he never felt the need to shoot and didn't fear for his life. Gross also said he didn't feel like the car was trying to hit him.
Two teenagers who were at the party testified that they were across the street when Oliver opened fire. The teens, Eric Knight and Jeremy Seaton, said they could not see a justification for the shooting. Seaton said the car was not facing an officer at the time and had steered into the wrong lane of traffic to avoid officers.
During closing arguments, defense attorneys told jurors they must consider the circumstances from Oliver's viewpoint and what the former officer knew at the time. The prosecution described Edwards as an innocent kid who did nothing wrong and argued that Oliver was out of control and looking for a reason to kill.