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Oklahoma City pharmacist convicted of murder gets new lawyer

Oklahoman Published: April 11, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The new attorney for an Oklahoma City pharmacist convicted of murdering a teenage would-be robber said Wednesday that the jury was not allowed to hear evidence about the pharmacist's state of mind at the time of the shooting.

“This man should not be spending the rest of his life in the penitentiary,” attorney Doug Friesen said about Jerome Ersland.

Friesen said at a news conference that he was approached by state Sen. Ralph Shortey about representing Ersland, who dismissed Irven Box as his defense attorney in a letter that Box said he received Tuesday.

“I do not take away from Irven Box. He's an excellent attorney. I'm just another set of eyes,” Friesen said.

Shortey, who said Ersland was justified when he shot and killed 16-year-old Antwun Parker, said he is fulfilling a promise to Ersland to get him out of prison.

Ersland, 60, was convicted last May of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. Parker was unarmed during the 2009 shooting when he and another teenager who was armed attempted to rob the south Oklahoma City pharmacy where Ersland worked.

Ersland is appealing the conviction.

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