Jurors Monday took turns looking inside the small, south Oklahoma City drugstore where pharmacist Jerome Jay Ersland fatally shot a masked robber two years ago.
Testimony resumes at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the pharmacist's murder trial.
The jury toured Reliable Discount Pharmacy for about 25 minutes Monday afternoon. Jurors went there after viewing security camera recordings of the shooting. Jurors earlier also watched a recording of Ersland's 30-minute interview with an Oklahoma City police detective the night of the shooting.
“I did do just what I had to do,” Ersland told the police detective. “It's not a deal where you have a big choice.”
The detective, David Jacobson, told jurors Ersland gave many details about the shooting that were not true. The detective testified Ersland also lied when he said he had killed “a lot of people” during the first Gulf War. The detective testified the pharmacist's military records show he was never in combat.
Visits to death scenes are rare in murder trials. The jury arrived in an Oklahoma County sheriff's bus normally used to take convicts to prison.
Jurors went inside the drugstore in groups because of its size. Jurors did not hear any testimony during their visit.
“Oh, wow,” one female juror said.
“Small,” another female juror said.
Visible inside the store was a jar for donations to Ersland's defense fund. The jar had money in it.
Jurors also walked to the north side of the pharmacy to see the corner where Ersland fired at a second robber who fled the store.
Ersland, 59, of Chickasha, is accused of going too far when he shot the wounded robber, Antwun “Speedy” Parker, five more times. His attorneys contend he bravely defended himself and two female co-workers.
Parker was 16.
The second robber, Jevontai Ingram, then 14, was arrested days later and has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for his role in the death.
Ersland was interviewed at the police department's homicide office about 10:30 p.m. May 19, 2009, almost five hours after the shooting. “Kind of a rough day,” Ersland said.
The detective said Ersland's account did not match what the security camera recordings showed.