Oklahoma City pharmacist convicted of murder describes jail as “like being in Hell”

Jerome Jay Ersland's attorney reported that the pharmacist is getting death threats. Oklahoma County sheriff says Ersland is safe.
BY NOLAN CLAY nclay@opubco.com Published: June 3, 2011
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They told jurors Parker was not moving and no longer was a threat when he was shot again.

Defense attorneys said he courageously defended himself and two female co-workers from two robbers. Defense attorneys noted one robber, who fled, pointed a gun.

Lead defense attorney Irven Box said Thursday that Ersland believes he is being threatened by an inmate who is related to Parker. “He says that someone has been shouting down the hall, ‘You're going to die, Jerome Ersland.'”

Ersland wrote in his note Thursday, “It is excruciating” and “like being in Hell as I am constantly threatened by Speedy's cousin.”

He also wrote that he has faith his attorneys “will get me out of here.” He wrote he got 35 letters of support Wednesday and three Bibles.

Ersland for years has worn a large brace for what he says is an inoperable broken back. He also has taken opiate-based pain medication for years, The Oklahoman has learned.

Sheriff John Whetsel said Ersland is in a cell by himself in a very secure location. “No one can get to him,” the sheriff said. “He's safe.”

The sheriff also said Ersland's medical needs, like any other inmate's needs, are being addressed.

In a note Sunday, Ersland wrote “I will not survive long here” because the jail doctor cut him off all 13 medications he needs to treat military injuries and an inner ear disorder known as Meniere's disease.

“Inmates have started fires all 4 days I have been here so far,” he also wrote Sunday.

He wrote he had been in his cell only five minutes when the sheriff brought him legal papers notifying him Parker's mother had filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against him and the pharmacy. “She wants everything I have” and “the Reliable owners have,” he wrote.

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