DALLAS - Testimony concluded Friday in the trial of a former Balch Springs police officer accused of murdering a teen.
The state called three witnesses on Friday morning to rebut some of what Roy Oliver claimed during Thursday’s dramatic testimony, where he discussed the events that occurred the night Jordan Edwards was shot dead.
Defense attorneys surprised court observers on Thursday by bringing up two unrelated events prosecutors said showed Oliver had a short temper and was impulsive.
Monique Arredondo testified as a rebuttal witness to what Oliver said about what happened after she rear-ended his truck while he was off-duty with his family inside April 16, 2017. The incident happened just 13 days before the then-officer shot and killed Edwards.
Oliver denied pointing an off-duty weapon at Arredondo. He admitted pulling it and putting it against his chest as he moved towards her vehicle because he heard yelling and thought there might have been a disturbance in the vehicle.
Arredondo was driving her sister Ashley's car when the incident happened. Arredondo told jurors after she ran into Oliver’s truck, he pulled a gun on her, her sister and her niece.
“He pointed the gun at me,” she said.
“Are you sure about that?” prosecutors asked.
“I’m positive. I can’t forget a gun in my face,” she said.
Arredondo’s sister, Ashley Cuevas, also swore under oath that Oliver “got out of the truck with his gun pointed at my sister.” The sisters’ testimony contradicts what Oliver said happened that day.
Oliver is also accused of acting out in court in 2013 as a witness in a DWI trial.
Prosecutor Leighton D'Antoni testified Oliver used vulgarity from the witness stand.
“[He] said to the jury I don’t understand the f****** question,” D’Antoni said.
Oliver admitted using profanity in his testimony, but said he was tired because he had worked twelve hour shift and had no sleep. He said he had asked for the trial to be reset to a day he was off work for officer safety.
“Assistant district attorney informed me that he didn’t care about officer safety. They just, I can’t remember if he said concerned about the win or concerned about the conviction and I took that very personal,” Oliver said.
The incidents are legally called extraneous cases and can go to a person’s character. Some attorneys say while it may paint him in a negative light, it won't be what jurors consider when deciding whether he is guilty as charged in the death of Edwards.
Closing arguments are set for Monday morning in the case. The jury is expected to begin deliberations the same day.
Heath Harris, not involved in the case, was the First Assistant D.A. in the Craig Watkins era. He’s been following the trial closely and said the state’s case is solid. He also said the defense did its job well with Oliver.
“I think that the defense did an awesome job of preparing him in his testimony,” Harris said.
The jury of seven women, two of them black, and five men have hundreds of exhibits and warring testimony to consider.
“You got the states experts saying it was unreasonable, you got the defense experts saying it was reasonable, you got Oliver telling them exactly why he fired when he fired,” Harris said.
Jurors will also review audio and video from five police body or dash camera systems.
“After you look at the video and you go frame by frame, yeah we know that he didn’t hit him. But in that moment, I didn’t know what he was going to do… that’s [Oliver’s] defense,” Harris said.
The former prosecutor said it all comes down to what happened in the moment Oliver fired those shots.
If convicted, Oliver faces five to 99 years in prison.