The pharmacist charged with first-degree murder was released today from the Oklahoma County jail after a supporter came up with the money for his $100,000 bail, his attorney said. A judge this morning set bail for Jerome Jay Ersland and ordered him to have no access to guns. Attorney Irven Box said a supporter paid the fee necessary for a bondsman to post the $100,000 bail. The attorney said Ersland doesn't know the supporter. Few defendants charged with first-degree murder get a chance to post bail in Oklahoma County District Court. Ersland is charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a would-be robber May 19 at the Reliable Discount Pharmacy in south Oklahoma City. Prosecutors contend he went over the line when he shot the unarmed robber five times in the abdomen while the robber was incapacitated on the floor from a gunshot wound to the head. His defense attorney contends Ersland acted in self-defense. District Judge Tammy Bass-LeSure set the bail amount after viewing a store videotape of the shooting of Antwun Parker, 16. The hearing today turned contentious when District Attorney David Prater asked the judge not to bar Ersland from access to a gun while at the store. He argued Ersland still has a right to defend himself and pharmacy employees if the store is robbed again. He said the restriction either meant Ersland would be fired from his job or crooks now know it is "open season" at the pharmacy if Ersland is there. The district attorney said his position sounds crazy but under the law Ersland has the right to protect himself. At one point, spectators clapped. The pharmacy has been robbed before, police records show. The judge refused to change her decision, saying Ersland can get another job. "If somebody wants to be around him, they are not going to have access to a gun," the judge said. "That's wrong," the district attorney replied. The judge also said Ersland, 57, of Chickasha will be on house arrest if he is freed and can only leave home to go to the doctor, his attorney, court, the grocery store, restaurants, church and work. Ersland's defense attorney said the pharmacy owner told him today Ersland won't lose his job. Box said more than $2,000 in donations have been dropped off at the pharmacy for a defense fund.
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