Trial underway for ex-Balch Springs cop who shot unarmed teen

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DALLAS -- Prosecutor Michael Snipes did not mince his words as he began his opening statement onThursday. Snipes wasted no time in declaring former Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver guilty of murder.

"The defendant, Roy Oliver, was angry," Snipes told the Dallas courtroom. "He was out of control. He was dangerous. He was stomping up and down the road. He was trigger-happy, and he was completely, totally, unreasonable and out of line."

Oliver, who is white, is accused of firing multiple times at a car, killing an unarmed black teenager, Jordan Edwards. The April 2017 incident  sparked outrage in North Texas and attracted national attention.

The defense declined to give an opening statement, opting to do so later on in the trial.

Jordan's step-mom was the first to take the witness stand.

"He always strived to be better, or to do better, whether it was in his grades or football," Charmaine Marie Edwards said.

The defense is expected to maintain its claim that the disgraced officer fired his gun to protect his partner Officer Tyler Gross. The two were responding to a call about a large house party.

Police initially said the car 15-year-old Jordan and four other young men were traveling in, reversed aggressively toward the officers. Under pressure, Police Chief Jonathan Haber later admitted that account was a  fabrication because his officers' own body cameras showed the car was actually speeding away.

Oliver was fired from the Balch Springs police force three days after the Mesquite High School freshman's death.

The trial is expected to last about a week.

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