Texas

After a Shocking Murder Conviction, the Texas Cop Who Shot Jordan Edwards Is Going to Prison

A jury has sentenced Roy Oliver to 15 years in prison.

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|||Mesquite Independent School District
Mesquite Independent School District

A jury's conviction of former Texas Police Officer Roy Oliver in the death of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards came as a shock to many. Officers who shoot civilians often escape punishment, even when evidence of wrongdoing is substantial. Now, Oliver has been sentenced for murder. The sentence, however, is much lighter than Edwards' family had hoped.

After spending hours deliberating, a jury agreed on Wednesday evening to sentence Oliver to 15 years in prison for Edwards' death. He must also pay a $10,000 fine. According to FindLaw, a murder conviction can carry a sentence anywhere between five and 99 years in state prison.

Charmaine Edwards, Jordan's mother, reacted to the sentence by saying, "This is a start for us and we can get some kind of closure."

Edwards died after attending a party in Balch Springs, Texas, in May 2017. Officers like Oliver arrived on the scene in response to a call about underage teen drinking. Edwards, his brother, and his friends attempted to leave the party. Oliver claimed that the car in which Edwards sat backed up "in an aggressive manner" toward him and his partner. He began shooting. In an unusual twist, Police Chief Jonathan Haber publicly contradicted Oliver after the initial reporting, saying that the car was actually driving forward.

A jury found Oliver guilty of murder on Tuesday. He was found not guilty of two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon by a public servant.

NBC DFW reports that Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson stated that the length of Oliver's sentence meant that he was not eligible for an appeal bond. Because of this, he was immediately taken into custody. His legal team has already made plans to appeal the verdict. Bob Gill, the attorney representing Oliver, said, "I think what we want people to take from this is that anytime a police officer is called upon and forced to exercise his deadly force option, it's a tragedy for both the officer and the family of the deceased involved." Gill was referring to Oliver's defense of the shooting. Body camera footage shown the jury, however, showed the car driving away from Oliver when he opened fire. Still, Oliver maintained during the trial that he had to use lethal force as a "car is a deadly weapon."

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  1. Dude must have been a real prick if his brothers in blue didn’t reflexively defend him.

    1. Yeah, there’s more to this behind the scenes. They wouldn’t let a cop go to prison just for murder. He crossed someone inside the system.

      1. He must have fucked the chief’s wife.

        1. “He must have fucked the chief’s wife.”

          Yeah, but did he violate a policy on in-house fucking?

          1. He feared for his life.

      2. Possibly… or perhaps the appeal case is already bought and paid for. The Klan packed the Dallas State Fairgrounds from horizon to horizon not long before Herbert Hoover picked up the Republican monopoly on force.

    2. Apparently his Sister testified against him, recommending that he be held accountable for his actions. His wife did testify on his behalf saying their son needs him as a Father in his life. So bad enough his fellow officers won’t stand up for him, even his family won’t defend him.

  2. Is that 15 years minimum or is he eligible for parole before then?

    1. Hopefully he’s there for the rest of his life.

      1. Tattoo “COP” on his forehead and he won’t last six months.

        1. Like the whole joint won’t know who he is anyway.

          #suckstobehim

        2. He’ll be held in “administrative segregation.”

    2. He’s eligible for Parole in 7 1/2 Years.

  3. #AllDriversAreArmed

      1. “At a press conference where he addressed the incident on Tuesday, Sheriff Judd referred to Boek as a ‘goofball’.

        ‘This was a justifiable homicide all day long. You have the right to protect yourself. This is a classic stand your ground case. This was the intent of the law.’

        In a warning to the ‘hotheads of the community,’ he continued: ‘Good people carry guns and they will shoot you. A lot. Graveyard dead. Leave people alone.’ ”

        Can we elect this man president against his will?
        …eh, he’d probably shoot us if we tried 🙁

  4. “”In an unusual twist, Police Chief Jonathan Haber publicly contradicted Oliver after the initial reporting, saying that the car was actually driving forward.”‘

    I think an officer falsifying an official report should be a felony offense.

    1. TOO BE FAIR, I believe the defendant’s claim at trial was not that the car was being driven at him but instead at his partner.

      1. His partner had just broken a side window of the car the the butt of a gun. Unless the car can move sideways he could not have been in danger of being run down.

        1. ^with the butt of a gun^

        2. Not only that his partner testified that he never felt his life was in danger.

  5. “I think what we want people to take from this is that anytime a police officer is called upon and forced to exercise his deadly force option, it’s a tragedy for both the officer and the family of the deceased involved.”

    Oh, I’m sure you do. I’m sure you do. We’re all equally victims here, aren’t we?

  6. A weapon was discharged. A suspect who it was later determined did not have a weapon, was not an adult and was not operating a deadly weapon vehicle from the passenger seat became deceased. Sentences were handed down. Prison populations were increased.

  7. . . . a jury agreed. . . to sentence Oliver to 15 years in prison . . .

    Forgive me if I’m incorrect here, but that’s not how juries work. Juries rule on guilt or innocence, they have nothing to do with sentencing. That’s what the judge does.

    Side nitpick: Its not ‘a’ jury – its ‘the’ jury. ‘a jury’ implies some random jury popped in and dropped a sentence here where ‘the jury’ is talking about the jury *assigned* to hear this case.

    1. Officers like Oliver arrived on the scene . . .

      Officers arrived on scene, not officers like Oliver. Or else there’d have been a lot more dead people.

      I only hit you because I love you Davis.

    2. “Forgive me if I’m incorrect here…”

      “In Texas, we do have jury sentencing in non-capital cases. The accused can elect before trial to have the jury set punishment in the event of a conviction (and we get jury trials for everything). If the accused doesn’t elect jury punishment the judge sets punishment. In almost all felony cases the accused chooses jury punishment.

      https://blog.bennettandbennett.com /2007/06/jury-sentencing-in-texas/

    3. Depends on the state and the law in question.

    4. That’s what Al Capone’s tax lawyers assumed in 1931. Boy were THEY surprised!

  8. Send this guy some soap on a rope !

    1. Send him a 55 gallon drum of Astrogide. He’s gonna need it.

  9. >>>anytime a police officer is called upon and forced to exercise his deadly force option

    he should be facing similar odds?

  10. Good, but I fear this will be used as a substitute for bringing other such killers to justice- “see, this (one) guy went to jail so the problem is dealt with…”

  11. I can hear the police union spokesman, “This verdict sends a chilling message to law enforcement across the nation that in times of great danger and split second decisions involving officer safety and matters of life and death that officers will be unfairly second guessed after the fact.

    This verdict does not bode well for the ability of officers to confidently save lives without fear for their own safety and the citizens they are sworn to protect.

    (insert collective sigh at the prospective horror)

  12. I wonder if he will be joining the current prisoner’s strike – in solidarity with his new-found brothers in stripes.

  13. This is a landmark, and as far as I can see Reason deserves full credit for stopping the juggernaut of infallible First Responders?. The culture handing out free rein to murder at will–especially for the sake of victimless prohibition usurpations or “race suicide” collectivism needs to check its premises… preferably in its own prisons.

  14. A very rare notice to LEOs if the conviction sticks. It may be the injustice system will delay the appeal until the public forgets and then let him off lightly. That is what has been happening.

    1. Probably true. An article I read about this said that prior to this only 6 Officers involved in shootings while carrying out their duty as Police Officers have ever been convicted of Murder. (the article did not get more specific, if that is Texas, the US or the entire World, and how far back the data goes.) Of those cases 4 were appealed, and 3 where thrown out on appeal. It also said his lawyers are already preparing to appeal the decision.

  15. Bottom line is some kids were drinking, cops get called, and one of the kids ends up shot to death.
    Never call the cops unless it’s acceptable to you for anyone on site, including yourself and your dog, to end up in a pine box.

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