Oliver, then 18, kicked in the back door of his ex-girlfriend’s home at Mableton Reserve Apartments in Austell on April 30, 2012, chasing her up a stairway in a violent rage. Three other people were in the apartment with the woman when Oliver burst through the door that day. One of them, 41-year-old Ricardo Reese, tried to help.
Reese came running up the stairs, unarmed, to try to stop the attack. Oliver turned and shot him twice in the chest.
“All three of those in the apartment testified and were very good witnesses,” said Don Geary, the chief assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case.
Geary said Oliver did not know Reese, who was apparently his ex’s new boyfriend.
“(Oliver) lived in Atlanta and came to visit his girlfriend, or ex-girlfriend depending on who you ask, and basically committed an armed home invasion and went after her,” Geary said.
Reese tried to stop Oliver from attacking her, “and Oliver shot him twice right there on the steps, killed him in cold blood,” Geary said.
The jury began its deliberations at 1 p.m. Thursday and didn’t return with a verdict until shortly after 3 p.m. Friday. Jurors had the option of convicting Oliver of murder but chose the manslaughter option, which carries a much lighter sentence. Even with the additional convictions of aggravated assault, possession of a firearm and criminal trespassing, Oliver’s maximum sentence is 26 years in prison.
Oliver testified he was acting in self-defense, a claim that Geary discounted.
“You can’t use self-defense when you’re the aggressor,” Geary told jurors.
Oliver showed no emotion when the verdict was read from the bench in Judge Adele Grubbs’s courtroom.
“He still thought it was the victim’s fault,” Geary said. “The victim shouldn’t have got involved.”
Mableton Reserve Apartments is on Sweetwater Circle in Austell.
Oliver has been jailed without bond since his arrest on April 30, the day of the killing. He ran from the crime scene but was apprehended within minutes by Cobb Police working with a K-9 unit.
Thomas Griner of Marietta served as Oliver’s court-appointed attorney.
Grubbs set sentencing for 10 a.m. on May 2.