A day after a Dallas County jury found Roy Oliver guilty of murdering 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, the former Balch Springs Police Officer learned his fate.
Oliver faced up to life in prison for firing into a car and striking Jordan as he and his friends were leaving a party, but the Texas jury sentenced him to just 15-years. While she was pleased with the verdict, Jordan’s mother, Charmaine Edwards, said she hoped her son’s killer would spend more time behind bars.
“We’re thankful for the verdict that we received. Although we wanted more years, this is a start for us and we can get some kind of closure,” she said.
Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson also hoped Oliver would be given a longer prison sentence, but she called the verdict “historic.”
“We are very satisfied with the guilty verdict,” Johnson said. “We believe that this is historic.”
Police officers are rarely convicted for killing unarmed Black people, so Oliver’s guilty verdict is unusual. Still, Oliver’s 15-year prison sentence means he could be paroled in less than eight years, a fact that doesn’t sit well with Jordan’s mother.
“He (Oliver) can actually see life again after 15 years and that’s not enough because Jordan can’t see life again,” she said.
Oliver and his lawyers plan on appealing his conviction. The Dallas Morning News reports, “Bob Gill and Miles Brissette said part of the appeal will center on language in the murder charge that they believe nullified their defense. That language was not used in the two aggravated assault charges the jurors deliberated on and acquitted Oliver for.”
Oliver is still facing four additional aggravated assault charges–two from the fatal April 2017 encounter that left Jordan dead, and two from an unrelated road rage incident. Dallas County prosecutors are still deciding whether or not they’ll pursue the cases.