©Copyright 2011, The Oklahoman
Jerome Jay Ersland, 59, also complained he is getting death threats.
Ersland showed no expression May 26 when a judge announced the jury had found him guilty of first-degree murder for fatally shooting a masked robber. The jury chose a life term as punishment.
“My look was ‘total shock,'” he wrote The Oklahoman on Thursday in a brief note explaining his lack of reaction. “I knew I was doomed forever then.”
The verdict has renewed debate about his case. Many call the outcome an injustice. Supporters say in the last week they have gathered more than 9,000 signatures on petitions asking the governor to
“It's been great,” said petition organizer, Karen Monahan, of Oklahoma City. She and Ersland are friends.
One supporter, Jan Laudermilk, 66, made a 100-mile round trip Thursday to get petitions to collect signatures in Meeker. “I don't think it was fair what they done to him,” said Laudermilk, who has never met the pharmacist.
Ersland, of Chickasha, had been free on $100,000 bail. He has been held in the Oklahoma County jail since the verdict. Formal sentencing is Monday, July 11.
“I am being treated like I am at Andersonville (in the Civil War) as they cut off all my medications,” Ersland wrote Thursday.
Ersland, a war buff, was referring to the infamous Confederate prisoner-of-war camp in Georgia. Almost 13,000 captured Union soldiers died there.
Ersland killed Antwun “Speedy” Parker, 16, inside Reliable Discount Pharmacy in south Oklahoma City on May 19, 2009.
Prosecutors told jurors Ersland went too far when he shot the unconscious, unarmed teen five more times after shooting him in the head.
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.