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Texas court rejects Roy Oliver's appeal request

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rejected the former Balch Springs police officer's request for appeal in the shooting death of Jordan Edwards.
Former Balch Springs Police Officer Roy Oliver fatally shot Jordan Edwards, 15, after responding to a party in Balch Springs on April 29, 2017.

DALLAS COUNTY, Texas — The Texas 5th Court of Appeals has rejected a request for appeal by Roy Oliver for a new trial in the shooting death of Jordan Edwards, meaning he will continue serving his prison sentence. 

Oliver had previously been convicted of murder in the case, sentenced to 15 years in prison and fined $10,000. 

In the written opinion, the appeals court affirmed the previous trial ruling. Oliver had argued at trial that the initial burden to demonstrate a Garrity statement was not used by the prosecution. Garrity is in reference to Garrity v. New Jersey, a Supreme Court case where the court held statements of police officer defendants given on threat of firing are involuntary and violate the defendant's right against self-incrimination. 

Oliver had given a statement to an internal affairs investigator after he was told he could be fired if he didn't, the opinion reads, but the appeals court determined the need to review the case was pointless. 

In his case, both courts said the former officer didn’t show any of the evidence used against him had been tainted by any of his protected statements, so his claims were rejected.

“[Oliver] made no showing that any witness was exposed to his Written or Recorded Statements, either directly or through any law enforcement official,” a three-judge panel of Texas’ 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas ruled in August. “Thus, no evidence offered at the grand jury proceedings or at trial can be traced directly or derivatively to those statements.”  

The former officer was first arrested in 2017 following the death of Jordan Edwards, a 15-year-old who was shot and killed in a car passenger seat while it was moving away from officers.

Oliver has been in prison more for than three years and will not be eligible for parole until 2026, prison records show.

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