Judge refuses to dismiss charge against Oklahoma City pharmacist Jerome Ersland

Oklahoma County District Judge Tammy Bass LeSure today refused to dismiss the murder charge against Oklahoma City pharmacist Jerome Ersland.
By Nolan Clay Modified: August 26, 2010 at 3:42 pm •  Published: August 26, 2010

A judge today refused to dismiss the murder charge against the Oklahoma City pharmacist who fatally shot a robber.

Oklahoma County District Judge Tammy Bass-LeSure also refused to postpone the jury trial, which is set to begin Sept. 13.

"It's time that justice be served, one way or another," she said.

Jerome Ersland was charged with first-degree murder after he shot a robber six times at the Reliable Discount Pharmacy in Oklahoma City in May 2009. He claims he acted in self defense. Killed was Antwun "Speedy" Parker, 16.

Prosecutors allege the pharmacist was justified only in shooting the first time, which sent a pellet from a shotgun shell deep into the robber's brain. Prosecutors say the pharmacist was wrong to shoot the robber five more times because the robber was unconscious, on the floor, unarmed and no longer a threat.

Defense attorneys asked for a dismissal, saying the evidence shows either the first shot, to the head, was fatal or that Parker was making involuntary movements that could have been perceived as a threat. Prosecutors say the medical evidence proves the robber was still alive when he was shot five more times. They also said they have other physical evidence proving that the robber was not moving after he was shot in the head.

The judge said the issues are questions of fact that a jury must decide.

Defense attorneys asked for a delay, saying they need more time to prepare since four state pathologists have given their opinions about the death.

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