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A former Texas police officer lost his appeal to overturn his murder conviction in the death of a Black teenager.
The former Balch Springs cop, who is eligible for parole in 2026, had filed an appeal with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals claiming that his right against self-incrimination was violated, Law&Crime reports. He claimed that he gave a statement on the shooting to an internal affairs investigator only after they threatened to fire him if he stayed mum.
Oliver’s lawyers unsuccessfully tried to argue that this violated a 1967 ruling that states that statements given by police officers when they are defendants are involuntary if it occurs after a threat of loss of job, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. They argued that the state had to prove compliance with this ruling.
While the petition for a discretionary review of the case was initially approved by the court, the court ultimately disagreed with the lawyers noting that both “the trial court disagreed” that the burden of proof lays with the state. They noted that “the court of appeals affirmed the ruling of the trial court in an unpublished opinion.”
“Having considered the parties’ briefs and the record, however, we conclude that our decision to grant review was improvident,” the court, which is Texas’ highest, stated. “We therefore dismiss Appellant’s petition for discretionary review as improvidently granted.”
Oliver shot Edwards to death with an assault rifle as he fired into a 2004 Chevy Impala filled with teens. Oliver had initially claimed that he shot at the car because he feared it would hit then-fellow officer Tyler Gross. Oliver also claimed he heard shots coming from the car, though no guns were found.
But Gross testified against Oliver at trial and said that the car was in fact not moving towards him, according to the Star-Telegram.
During the trial, jurors learned that Oliver also flipped off the car after the shooting.
Charmaine Edwards, the slain teen’s stepmother, previously expressed that she felt that the jury showed Oliver too much compassion by only giving him 15 years.
“He can actually see life again after 15 years and that’s not enough because Jordan can’t see life again,” she said, the Dallas Morning News reported in 2018.
Still, she said, "although we wanted more years, this is a start for us.”
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