Jerome Ersland case has new twist

BY NOLAN CLAY Modified: February 21, 2010 at 12:15 pm •  Published: February 21, 2010

Pa
rker was 16.

The district attorney said the shell casing will be tested to see whether it has any DNA on it. He said any DNA found on the shell casing would be compared to Ersland’s DNA and to DNA from two men accused of planning the robbery.

The district attorney said Ersland could be charged with a crime, such as falsifying evidence, if his DNA matches DNA found on the shell casing.

"The technical investigators of the Oklahoma City Police Department swept that whole pharmacy looking for any evidence whatsoever,” Prater said. "That raises my suspicion as to the validity of this evidence. … As in any case, if we find that anyone involved in the case has planted evidence, there are obviously potential legal ramifications for that.”

Ersland denied planting the shell casing, saying he is never alone in the pharmacy. "That’s so ridiculous,” he said. "That would be stupid to do that.”

The security guard, Perkins, 67, stopped protecting the pharmacy in November. Perkins told The Oklahoman last week, "It is possible he could have put it under there. ... He kept saying, ‘It’s strange that nobody found any of the shell casings from the other gun.’ He repeated that over and over and over.”

Perkins told police Ersland "jumped for joy” when he found the casing, according to the police reports. The guard also reported Ersland said of the shell casing, "That’s the missing link.”

Perkins told detectives Ersland did not want to report the discovery to police because he said he didn’t trust them. Detectives eventually learned about shell casing from the pharmacy’s owner.

The pharmacist’s lead defense attorney, Irven Box, said the value of the shell casing as possible evidence at trial won’t be known until further testing is done.

"It’s just another piece in this gigantic puzzle that we’re trying to work through in regards to Mr. Ersland’s case,” Box said.

The Oklahoman this month obtained copies of the confidential police reports on the shell casing.


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Bullet holes?

A Web site about a pharmacist and his murder case has photos, one of which is seen above, that purport to show bullet holes in the pharmacy wall caused by the robbers’ gun. The pharmacist, Jerome Ersland, is listed as the administrative contact for the site, www.jeromeersland.com. Prosecutors say only one robber had a gun and it was not fired inside the pharmacy. Prosecutors said police investigators determined holes in the walls were old holes made by nails or screws. Defense attorney Irven Box said he will have experts look at the photographs.

Police interview excerpt

Here is an excerpt from Oklahoma City police Detective David Jacobson’s report on his interview in July with security guard Charles Perkins:

"I asked Perkins how he thought the shell casing got under the bookcase. Perkins said, ‘I have no idea.’ I explained to him that the whole pharmacy had been searched, photographed and processed by CSI officers that night. I explained we just wanted to know how this shell casing was located now. Perkins asked if anyone looked under the bookcase the night of the incident. I told him CSI officers had been in that room looking for evidence. Perkins then said, ‘Well maybe it was put under there on purpose.’ I told Perkins that was what we were trying to figure out. Perkins said, ‘Maybe he (Ersland) put it under there.’ Ersland talked about shell casings every day. I asked Perkins if he thought Ersland put the shell casing under the bookcase for him to find. Perkins said, ‘It’s humanly possible.’”

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