A forensic pathologist testified Tuesday at an Oklahoma City pharmacist's murder trial that an unconscious robber could have moved after being shot in the head.
Under defense questioning, prosecution witness Chai Choi agreed Antwun “Speedy” Parker could have had involuntary movements or seizures that could have been perceived as a threat.
“That is possible,” the doctor testified at Jerome Jay Ersland's murder trial.
Testimony is set to resume at 9 a.m. Wednesday. Oklahoma County District Judge Ray C. Elliott sent jurors home early Tuesday afternoon because of approaching storms. The trial could conclude Friday.
Ersland, 59, is accused of going too far when he shot Parker five more times inside Reliable Discount Pharmacy in south Oklahoma City on May 19, 2009. He shot Parker again after chasing a second robber away, security camera recordings show.
Prosecutors contend physical evidence and the pharmacist's own actions prove Parker didn't move after the shot to the head knocked him to his back on the drugstore floor.
Defense attorneys contend Ersland bravely defended himself and two
Choi did not do the autopsy on Parker. She reviewed autopsy records in order to testify at the trial because the doctor who did do the autopsy was fired. Choi has worked in the medical examiner's office 29 years.
She told jurors Parker, 16, would have lost consciousness very quickly after being shot in the head. She said the shot sent a lead fragment into the boy's brain. She called such a brain injury probably fatal but survivable if treated properly and immediately.
She said Parker was alive when he was shot five more times in the chest and abdomen. She said blood loss from those injuries shows his heart was beating. She said the last five shots “speeded up death.”
During her testimony Tuesday, jurors also learned another doctor, Andrew Sibley, last year wrote in Parker's case that “unconsciousness does not necessarily mean motionless.”
Jurors were told Sibley, then the state's interim chief medical examiner, also wrote “it is conceivable that involuntary movements may be perceived as a continued threat.”
Ersland insisted in media interviews he shot Parker again because the masked robber was getting up. Ersland is not expected to testify at the trial.
Recordings from security cameras inside the pharmacy do not show Parker again after the robber falls.
An Oklahoma City police detective, Ryan Porter, testified Tuesday that
The detective said Ersland also carries the just-fired revolver in his nonshooting hand as he walks over Parker to get the second gun.
Under defense questioning, the detective acknowledged that Ersland “wouldn't be here today” if the two robbers had not entered the drugstore.
“There would not be a case going on right now, that's correct,” Porter said.
Admitted into evidence Tuesday were both guns Ersland fired inside the pharmacy: a Taurus Judge revolver and a semi-automatic Kel-Tec handgun. District Attorney David Prater held up the unloaded weapons one at time and walked in front of jurors so they could get a closer look.
Ersland, of Chickasha, faces life in prison or life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of murder.