Judge orders pharmacist Jerome Ersland to trial in shooting death of robber

By Nolan Clay - Staff Writer Modified: November 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm •  Published: November 4, 2009

A judge today ordered pharmacist Jerome Ersland to face a murder trial for fatally shooting a robber in May at an Oklahoma City drug store.

The decision by Oklahoma County Special Judge Greg Ryan came after a day of testimony and viewing of a security camera recording of the shooting.

The state's chief medical examiner testified the robber was unconscious and on his back when he was fatally shot.

Dr. Collie Trant was the first witness at a preliminary hearing for Ersland of Chickasha. Ersland is charged with first-degree murder.

He shot robber Atwun "Speedy" Parker, 16, once in the head then five times in the chest and abdomen May 19 at the Reliable Discount Pharmacy in south Oklahoma City. Prosecutors say he went too far. The pharmacist contends he was defending himself and two female employees from a masked robber who was still moving.

Trant said Parker was still alive after the first shot, which left a pellet in his brain. The doctor said he concluded Parker was unconscious when he was shot five more times because the wounds were tightly clustered. The doctor said Parker would have moved after the first shot to the torso if he'd still been awake and the wounds would not have been that close together.

He also indicated the pharmacist had to have been standing directly over the robber shooting straight down.

Under defense questioning, he acknowledged that Parker might have died from the first gunshot wound if he hadn't been shot again.

The second witness was Tom Bevel, an expert at analyzing what a victim's blood can reveal about a crime scene.

He said the physical evidence shows the robber was not moving when he was shot the last five times. He said crime scene photos show no disturbance of a blood pool around Parker's head and no blood drops on the floor or on Parker's shirt.

He also said packages of support stockings had fallen onto Parker's hand and elbow and would have been in a different position if Parker were moving.

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