A Dallas County jury sentenced Roy Oliver to 15 years in prison late Wednesday night. The ex-Balch Springs police officer faced as few as five years, and as many as 99, after being convicted of murdering Mesquite teenager Jordan Edwards in April 2017. The jury also handed Oliver a $10,000 fine.
During the punishment phase of Oliver's trial, prosecutors attempted to paint Oliver as being filled with rage, a bomb waiting to go off in his community. They asked the jury to hand out a sentence of at least 60 years, but told reporters Wednesday night that they still found some satisfaction in the jury's decision.
"Obviously, we would've loved to have more time," Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson said. "We did not get that, however we will never, ever argue with the jury in terms of that verdict."
Charmaine Edwards, Jordan Edwards' stepmother, said the jury's decision gave Oliver something her stepson will never have.
“He can actually see life again after 15 years, and that’s not enough, because Jordan can’t see life again,” Edwards said.
Oliver's family — with the exception of an estranged half sister, who said Oliver deserved a lengthy sentence — begged the jury for the minimum sentence during their testimony Wednesday. Oliver's autistic son needed him, Oliver's mother, Linda, said.
“He needs his father’s love. He needs his father’s income. He needs his father’s guidance,” she said.
Oliver fired his rifle five times into a Chevrolet Impala driving away from a party in the eastern Dallas County town in April 2017. Oliver hit Edwards, 15, in the head, killing the Mesquite High School freshman.
Oliver's attorneys told reporters Wednesday that they will appeal their client's conviction. Without a successful appeal, Oliver will be eligible for parole after serving half of his sentence.
“The last thing you want to do, as a police officer, is get sentenced to the Texas penitentiary system where it’s full of people that have been arrested and prosecuted by the police officers and by the system,” Bob Gill, one of Oliver's defense attorneys, said.
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