Convicted of murder, former Balch Springs Police Officer Roy Oliver will be back in court on Friday.
A jury sentenced Oliver to 15 years in prison for the on-duty shooting and killing of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards. But other criminal charges from the night the teen was killed and from an alleged road rage incident two weeks earlier remain an open question.
There are a total of four aggravated assault deadly weapon charges against Oliver that the state has not made clear whether they plan to try them. So Judge Brandon Birmingham is bringing everyone back to his court to learn the answer. But it could be a legal bargaining session.
Oliver will return to Judge Birmingham’s court on Friday just eight days after a jury sentenced him to 15 years in prison for murder.
“Although it wasn’t what we wanted, those 15 years or however long he does its gonna feel like life to him since he's ripped away from his family,” said Charmaine Edwards, Jordan’s stepmother.
Oliver will be back in court because of unfinished legal business. Attorney Toby Shook is not involved in the case.
“It’s a lot on the table,” Shook said. “This will be interesting to see how this plays out because the state could try to play hardball.”
Oliver was found not guilty on two aggravated assault charges brought at trial for when he fired into the car carrying Jordan and four others on April 29, 2017. But there are still two other aggravated assault charges from that event, and the state could take him to trial on those.
“I’m sure you would have a defense objection saying the jury found him not guilty of those agg assaults on the same exact evidence,” Shook said. “Therefore, the state should be barred from prosecuting those cases again.”
Monique Arredondo and her sister, Ashley Cuevas testified Oliver pulled a gun on them following minor off-duty traffic accident.
“All I could see was the end of the gun to my face,” Arredondo previously said in court.
The former Balch Springs officer admitted pulling his gun. But he said he put it on his chest as he approached Arredondo’s car. Under cross examination, he denied ever pointing the weapon at the women.
The confrontation happened 13 days before Jordan was murdered. Oliver faces two aggravated assault charges.
“Those could be tried if the state wanted to and they could try to get more time on Mr. Oliver,” Shook said.
The outstanding cases could be used in other ways.
“When you have pending cases, the state often uses leverage. ‘Well, we can try you again or you can plead to something concurrent and waive your appeal,’” Shook explained.
One possibility is Oliver could agree to drop his appeal of his murder conviction and the state would dismiss the outstanding aggravated assault cases.