After two days of deliberations, jurors found Roy Oliver, the ex-Balch Springs, Texas cop who shot and killed Jordan Edwards, an unarmed 15-year-old boy, guilty of murder on Tuesday afternoon.
The 38-year old Oliver was on trial for murder and two counts of aggravated assault by a public servant, reports DallasNews.com. He was found not guilty of the assault charges. The Dallas County jurors also had the option of returning a manslaughter charge for Oliver.
On April 2017, Oliver and Officer Tyler Gross were responding to a call about a rowdy house party at around 11:00 p.m. Body camera footage showed the officers joking around with teens leaving the party; the mood quickly turned when gunshots were heard. As the Dallas News reports, investigators later found out the shots had come from a nearby nursing home.
Officers Oliver and Gross raced from the house—Oliver to get his patrol rifle. Jordan, his brothers and his friends were attempting to leave the house party in a Chevrolet Impala when Oliver fired five shots into the car. Jordan, a high school freshman, was shot in the head and died instantly.
Oliver later said he thought the car was going to hit his partner. However, Officer Gross testified he did not believe his life was in danger, NBC Dallas-Fort Worth reports.
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According to NBC, jurors were in dispute on Monday about whether the sound of factored in his decision to shoot the SUV.
When officers stand trial for shooting and killing civilians, guilty verdicts are rarely returned. One study showed that between 2005 and April 2017, 80 officers were arrested on murder or manslaughter charges for on-duty shootings but only 35 percent were convicted, while the rest were either pending charges or not convicted at all. Or as attorney Lee Merritt noted last week, Oliver’s conviction is the first “line of duty” conviction in Texas in almost 50 years.