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Jury Selection Begins For Former Officer Charged With Murder Of Jordan Edwards

Parker County Sheriff's Office via AP
The mugshot of fired Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver after being booked on a murder charge in May 2017 for fatally shooting 15-year-old Jordan Edwards.

The jury selection process began Friday in the trial of a white former suburban Dallas police officer charged murder after fatally shooting a black teenager, the Associated Press reported.

Former Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver, 38, fired into a vehicle occupied by five black teenagers driving away from a party in April 2017, killing 15-year-old Jordan Edwards in the passenger seat, prosecutors said. Police initially said the vehicle was reversing "in an aggressive manner" toward officers, but Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber later said that video taken at the scene proved the vehicle was actually driving away from the officers.

In court filings, Oliver justified his actions, saying he and his accompanying officer feared for their lives when the car carrying Edwards sped past them. The officers were at the scene initially to respond to a call about underage drinking at a party.

Oliver was fired days after the arrest for violating departmental policies. And a grand jury last year indicted him on a murder charge, along with four counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon by a public servant.

The trial, which has been delayed twice, is set to begin Aug. 20, according to The Dallas Morning News.

The jury will hear and deliberate on the murder charge and two of the four assault charges, according to the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. The other two charges are still pending.

Oliver has also been indicted on two charges related to a road-rage incident that happened weeks before Edwards' death, while he was off duty.

The district attorney's office said charges tied to that case are also pending.