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  • Oklahoma pharmacist once called hero, now convicted murderer in attempted robbery

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    http://www.twincities.com/ci_18149230

    Oklahoma pharmacist once called hero, now convicted murderer in attempted robbery

    By Tim Talley
    Associated Press
    Updated: 05/26/2011 07:16:28 PM CDT

    OKLAHOMA CITY - A jury Thursday convicted an Oklahoma City pharmacist of first-degree murder, saying he went too far when he pumped six bullets into a teenager who tried to rob the drug store where he worked, and suggested he spend the rest of his life in prison.

    Jerome Ersland, 59, had been hailed as a hero for protecting two co-workers during the May 19, 2009, robbery attempt at the Reliable Discount Pharmacy in a crime-ridden neighborhood in south Oklahoma City.

    A prosecutor, however, said that after Ersland shot Antwun Parker in the head, knocking the 16-year-old to the ground, Ersland made himself "judge, jury, executioner" by getting a second handgun and shooting the boy five times in the abdomen. A coroner's report said the latter shots killed Parker.

    "This defendant was absolutely not defending himself or anyone else," assistant District Attorney Jennifer Chance told jurors during closing arguments Thursday.

    Defense attorney Irven Box asked jurors what they would do in the same situation, and told them Ersland had to take action to end a threat.

    "He eliminated the armed robber," Box said.

    Police said Parker wasn't armed, and since the shooting have disputed Ersland's claim that he was wounded during the robbery attempt. Ersland did not testify at the trial.

    The jury - eight women and four men - recommended a life sentence after deliberating 3.5 hours. Oklahoma County District Judge Ray Elliott can impose a lighter sentence when Ersland is sentenced July 11, but cannot depart upward. If he accepts the jury's suggestion, Ersland would be eligible for parole after 38 years and three months.

    Ersland, in a dark jacket and red tie, showed no emotion as the verdict was read and was immediately taken into custody . He remained silent as sheriff's deputies led him in handcuffs to an elevator reserved for defendants.

    The victim's family members, including Parker's mother, Cleta Jennings, and his aunt, Mona Stewart, ran out of the courtroom crying when the verdict was announced and wept in the hallway before departing via a public elevator.

    District Attorney David Prater and defense attorney Irven box declined to comment until after Ersland's sentencing. Jurors left the courthouse after declining to speak.

    Ersland, a former Air Force lieutenant colonel, worked at a pharmacy that had been robbed before. Immediately after the shooting, anti-crime advocates and many listeners and viewers of talk shows called Ersland's actions heroic.

    A video from the store showed Ersland firing a pistol at two men after they burst into the store, one of them armed. Ersland hit Parker with one shot, knocking him to the ground, and chased the other suspect out the door. After returning to the pharmacy, he retrieved a second gun and shot Parker five times.

    Jurors visited the pharmacy during the trial.

    Box had said Ersland was protected by provisions of Oklahoma's "Make My Day Law," named after a Clint Eastwood line in "Dirty Harry." Legislators in the 1980s initially gave residents the right to use deadly force when they feel threatened inside their homes, then in 2006 extended that to their automobiles or workplaces.

    The second teen who entered the pharmacy with Parker, Jevontai Ingram, was sentenced to a state juvenile facility after pleading guilty to first-degree murder under Oklahoma's felony murder law. That law allows a murder charge against someone when an accomplice is killed during the commission of a crime.

    Prosecutors say two men, Anthony D. Morrison, 44, and Emanuel Mitchell, 33, recruited the teens and helped plan the robbery. They were convicted of first-degree murder in early May and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. Near the end of their trial, Mitchell slugged Prater in the face at the end of Prater's closing statement in the penalty phase. Deputies jumped on Mitchell to subdue him and took him away.

    As Ersland's trial wrapped up Thursday, 10 sheriff's deputies stood by in the packed courtroom and Elliott warned the crowd to remain orderly.

    "This has been a very emotional case for all parties involved," Elliott said. "If you feel for whatever reason you can't maintain your composure, I suggest you step out in the hall."



    What an in-justice.




    You and your armed partner attempt to rob a pharmacy and you get shot by an employee. You weren't "murdered".....you were killed in the commission of a felony.



    .

  • #2
    Originally posted by HEDP View Post
    What an in-justice.

    You and your armed partner attempt to rob a pharmacy and you get shot by an employee. You weren't "murdered".....you were killed in the commission of a felony.
    Normally I would agree..But this is what put him over the line.

    A video from the store showed Ersland firing a pistol at two men after they burst into the store, one of them armed. Ersland hit Parker with one shot, knocking him to the ground, and chased the other suspect out the door. After returning to the pharmacy, he retrieved a second gun and shot Parker five times.

    Returning and then the execution with a second firearm because I would hazard a guess that the first one was out of ammo.
    The beatings will continue until morale improves.

    Originally posted by jcioccke
    After I hit it, I would be disgusted with her

    Comment


    • #3
      A prosecutor, however, said that after Ersland shot Antwun Parker in the head, knocking the 16-year-old to the ground, Ersland made himself "judge, jury, executioner" by getting a second handgun and shooting the boy five times in the abdomen. A coroner's report said the latter shots killed Parker.
      If the robber was incapacitated after the first shot then the other 5 shots are unjustifiable.
      Life is what you make of it

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by 10-7Alpha View Post
        Normally I would agree..But this is what put him over the line.

        A video from the store showed Ersland firing a pistol at two men after they burst into the store, one of them armed. Ersland hit Parker with one shot, knocking him to the ground, and chased the other suspect out the door. After returning to the pharmacy, he retrieved a second gun and shot Parker five times.

        Returning and then the execution with a second firearm because I would hazard a guess that the first one was out of ammo.



        Would it have been better if he used the same gun the entire time?





        How do you know when someone is "stopped"?





        Would you risk your life with, "I think he's down, maybe?"



        .

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by HEDP View Post
          Would it have been better if he used the same gun the entire time?





          How do you know when someone is "stopped"?





          Would you risk your life with, "I think he's down, maybe?"



          .
          There are things I have done I will be willing to stand before god and be judged on. Some of those things are not in my opinion judgeable by our current system as a true jury of peers would never be allowed to be on the same jury.

          Would it have been better if he used the same gun the entire time? -Yes.

          How do you know when someone is "stopped"? -When they are dead, or you have removed yourself from the situation.

          Would you risk your life with, "I think he's down, maybe?" -I have.
          Last edited by 10-7Alpha; 05-27-2011, 12:24 AM.
          The beatings will continue until morale improves.

          Originally posted by jcioccke
          After I hit it, I would be disgusted with her

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by HEDP View Post
            Would it have been better if he used the same gun the entire time?





            How do you know when someone is "stopped"?





            Would you risk your life with, "I think he's down, maybe?"



            .
            If someone has a hole in their head and isn't moving then its safe to assume that they won't get up for awhile, if ever.
            Life is what you make of it

            Comment


            • #7
              Yes, it was unjustified under the letter of our law.

              Morally? I think the guy is still a hero. Even if the POS was incapacitated then, what stops him from coming back for revenge and bringing more reinforcements next visit?

              And if there were actual consequences for cowardly robberies, they would happen much less often.
              "Snort-laughter is the best medicine"
              ----- Mussel Bound


              Don't forget to laugh today. The more implausible it seems, the more you need to.

              Comment


              • #8
                In the heat of the moment he did what he thought was right.

                looking back on, getting another gun or reloading you original one to pump more lead into someone is excessive, when they are down and no longer a threat.

                It's no different that if i rob you and you shoot me in the back. I was retreating. The threat i posed is over, you chose to continue it.

                He may be a hero but I would have to convict him still. The ONLY defense is if he fired multiple shots only 1 hit the suspect and the suspect was still charging. Clearly, that was not the case here.

                Comment


                • #9
                  To us before to use the weapon, it is necessary to execute a number of requirements specified in the law on a use of weapons. At infringement of this law, our policeman will bear responsibility up to the criminal. As will be check in case of death or wound of the infringer is spent. It very long and bad.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 10-7Alpha View Post
                    Normally I would agree..But this is what put him over the line.

                    A video from the store showed Ersland firing a pistol at two men after they burst into the store, one of them armed. Ersland hit Parker with one shot, knocking him to the ground, and chased the other suspect out the door. After returning to the pharmacy, he retrieved a second gun and shot Parker five times.

                    Returning and then the execution with a second firearm because I would hazard a guess that the first one was out of ammo.
                    I completely agree. If he had the chance to get a second gun to shoot him another 5 times, then he had the chance to disarm the suspect OR leave the area with his coworkers for safety. The threat was over. If the suspect got up and started posing a threat again, then that's a different story.
                    Originally posted by RSGSRT
                    We've reached a point where natural selection doesn't have a chance in hell of keeping up with the procreation of imbeciles.
                    Why is it acceptable for you to be an idiot, but not acceptable for me to point it out?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Whether the second round of shots was justified depends on the same criteria as is applied to the first shot, but must be evaluated as of the time of the second round of shots. It is not the same was when several shots are fired in quick succession.
                      Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
                      Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I will not judge, as I was not in his shoes, but it is tragic that the Lt. Col let his judgement slip. Now his life is gone as well. The robbery suspect knew the risks when he and his buddy decided to commit armed robbery. The guy is almost 60 so I hope he lived a good life up until now.

                        *EDIT* I was not able to watch the video before. After seeing the video, I think the jury made a good ruling in this case.
                        Last edited by ProtectandServe; 05-27-2011, 09:01 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MargeGunderson View Post
                          Morally? I think the guy is still a hero. Even if the POS was incapacitated then, what stops him from coming back for revenge and bringing more reinforcements next visit?

                          And if there were actual consequences for cowardly robberies, they would happen much less often.
                          That's quite a moral code you've got there! Apparently, being a robber makes one a "POS", but committing a cold blooded murder makes one a "hero"?

                          There are actual consequences for committing robberies, but there isn't a state in this country that provides for the death penalty when the participants of that act limit the physical harm they've done to taking the property of another. No one on this board (myself included) believes robbers shouldn't be held accountable, but most members here consider the idea of vigilantism a disgusting alternative to the rule of law. It wasn't just the prosecutor's "theory", this POS (the defendant) was convicted by a jury of the heinous crime of murder.

                          The use of lethal force is legal and morally correct when there's an immediate threat to the person who employs it or others, not out of vengeance or some vague rationalization that the suspect might come back some day. If you or any other defenders of this type of action believe shootings like these are reasonable, you might was well voice support for police death squads (as are found in less developed countries). Praising the execution of an "incapacitated" suspect is one of the most disgusting things I've seen on a board primarily visited by those involved in law enforcement.
                          Last edited by pulicords; 05-27-2011, 11:00 AM.
                          "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The issue of getting and then using a second gun after the suspect was down and incapacitated, shows that there was a pause in the event during which the shooter without doubt should've realized that the suspect was in fact incapacitated.

                            It has been successfully argued in court that when you're in a split-second shootout, even a reasonable person may fire some additional rounds after the suspect goes down because it takes our brain some additional time to "process" the fact that the suspect is down and is no longer a threat. Those additional rounds were found to not be excessive due to that fact.

                            All the prosecution was doing here was showing that that was not at all the issue, and that there was a significant pause during which the shooter must have realized the threat was down.

                            Not gonna comment on the moral question; as has been pointed out, God may view things differently, but when it comes to our Criminal Justice system, you must ceasefire once you realize the threat has been eliminated.

                            -V

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              All of the above and now the mother has just won the ghetto lotto.
                              Last edited by OneAdam12; 05-27-2011, 01:20 PM.
                              Pete Malloy, "The only thing black and white about this job is the car."

                              Comment

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