OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma City pharmacist who shot and killed a 16-year-old would-be robber was charged today with first-degree murder. An affidavit says 57-year-old Jerome Ersland shot Antwun Parker on May 19 while Parker was incapacitated and lying on his back.
Ersland has said he opened fire in self-defense.
Parker was shot once in the head and five times in the stomach area. An autopsy determined Parker was still alive after being shot in the head.
Ersland says two people in ski masks threatened him and two other employees at Reliable Discount Pharmacy and because he's disabled he couldn't run. Ersland says he took a pistol from his pocket and shot Parker in the head -- then shot him five more times as the teenager tried to get up.
Developments at pharmacist's hearing
JOLEEN CHANEY REPORTING
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Thursday morning Oklahoma City pharmacist Jerome Ersland stood before a judge during his bail hearing where there was a development that seemed to stun everyone.
Ersland said his attorney ordered him not to talk to anyone and he is not the only one who is keeping quiet.
"I wish I could do an interview, but they won't let me.... my attorney will fire me," Jerome Ersland said.
Ersland is not the only one afraid to talk. Those close to him will not go on camera either. They say they fear for their lives, but that did not stop others who do not know Ersland from supporting him today after he bonded out of jail.
"We feel this individual is being railroaded. He is a veteran,"
Ersland was discharged from the Army after he suffered life-threatening injuries - injuries he is still dealing with today.
"I'm very happy he was able to get bond," Ersland's attorney, Irven Box said. "I was concerned with his safety in jail. He's on medications. He's in a lot of pain."
One day after the shooting the pharmacist told NewsChannel Four his physical condition and fear for his and his co-workers lives prompted him to fire at the two juvenile robbers - killing one of them. Now prosecutors fear Ersland's life could be in danger. District Attorney David Prater insisted Ersland be allowed to carry a gun even though he was charged with first degree murder. The judge seemed stunned by the request.
"You're saying the DA in Oklahoma County wants him to have a gun," Judge Tammy Bass-Lesure said.
"That's right," David Prater said.
The judge did not agree, and her decision has angered some of Ersland's supporters.
"If she doesn't allow him to protect himself," Mike Manning said. "He's going to be dead in a week. What they're doing to this businessman is wrong."
KRMG Local News
NAACP says Charging OKC Pharmacist with Murder The Right Thing
The NAACP says Oklahoma County's prosecutor did the right thing by charging a pharmacist with murder in the shooting death of a teenaged would-be robber.
Officials of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People held a news conference Friday May 29th to discuss the first-degree murder charge against Jerome Ersland.
District Attorney David Prater says Ersland was justified in shooting 16-year-old Antwun Parker in the head during the robbery attempt. But Prater says Erslund went too far when he shot Parker five more times as he lay unarmed and unconscious.
Parker was black, Erstland is white.
State NAACP president Anthony Douglas says the judicial system should be allowed to run its course and the organization won't take sides on Ersland's guilt or innocence.
|Liveleak on Facebook|