Attorney says tough legal road ahead for Balch Springs officer

A defense attorney who has defended many police officers says statements already attributed to a fired Balch Springs officer may be hard for him to get around in court.

Roy Oliver is charged with murder, accused of killing Jordan Edwards, 15, when he fired his rifle into a car as it drove away from a Balch Springs home. The state has the burden of proof: to first convince a grand jury Oliver should be indicted.

“What I know here, I wouldn’t present anything,” said defense attorney George Milner, who is not involved in the case. “I would hold my cards back and wait for trial.”

Milner said he would not be surprised if Oliver presents no statement to the grand jury because of statements already attributed to him.

“Based on publicly available reports, it would seem that he has made statements that are inconsistent with the facts and that’s going to be detrimental to him,” Milner said.

When Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber held his first news conference, he said the officer’s report indicated the car Edwards was a passenger in was driving in reverse aggressively toward the officer. Haber corrected that version of events 24 hours later. The day after police recanted the original story, Oliver was fired because the officer’s body camera video did not support his version of the facts.

“The question will become looking at the totality of the circumstances. Was this officer in his own mind justified from his point of view? That’s how a jury will be instructed -- from his standpoint alone, was he justified in using deadly force,” Milner said.

District Attorney Faith Johnson released a statement Tuesday in response to a protest planned for Tuesday evening by Next Generation Action Network.

"In the face of planned protests, we ask that the Dallas-Fort Worth community respect the wishes of the family of Jordan Edwards by coming together in an example of peace, healing and unity to the rest of the country,” Johnson said.

This demonstration was originally scheduled for last week, but postponed at the family's request until after the funeral. The family has also said through attorney statements they want no unrest in the streets or threat of violence against Balch Springs police or any other law enforcement agency.

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