Judge could rule on change of venue in trial of ex-Balch Springs officer accused of murder

A Dallas judge could rule Tuesday on a potential change of venue request in the upcoming trial of a former Balch Springs officer accused of murdering a 15-year-old boy.

Former officer Roy Oliver is set to go on trial in August for murdering Jordan Edwards. Defense attorneys argue Oliver can’t get a fair trial in Dallas County.

"The publicity has been pervasive, prejudicial and inflammatory,” attorneys wrote in a motion.

Oliver's defense team also subpoenaed Dallas County to produce any and all e-mails received or sent from Dallas County government e-mail accounts containing the words “Jordan Edwards" and "Roy Oliver."

“This is an unusual maneuver that you see in a change of venue,” said former prosecutor Toby Shook, who is not involved with this case. “There’s another provision that states if there’s a dangerous combination amongst influential people in the county that makes the atmosphere so bad that the defendant can’t receive a fair trial, that's another reason that a judge can grant a change of venue.”

The D.A.'s office filed a motion to stop the email request and called it "a fishing expedition."

The county recovered 14,547 emails and turned them over to judge Brandon Birmingham. He will decide which ones the defense gets and which county emails are protected communication as attorney work flow.

“They don’t want their secrets known, their strategy that they can talk amongst themselves any more than the defense would want their private emails shared with the prosecution,” Shook said.

The D.A.'s office wants the trial to remain in Dallas.

“If this case were transferred to a rural jurisdiction or a more law enforcement oriented jurisdiction or one, let’s say, in which they believe the population would back the police more -- then it’s going to be a more difficult prosecution,” Shook said.

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