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. Prosecutors say Ersland was justified in firing an initial shot but that he went too far when he grabbed a second gun and fired five more bullets into the teen while the boy lay unconscious on the floor. Friesen said evidence supporting Ersland's contention that he still felt threatened by Parker was not allowed during his trial. “The jury did not get to hear a number of experts that had been lined up so that the jury could understand the situation and how dynamic the shooting situation is, and the mind-state that Jerome would have been in at the time,” Friesen said. “He thought he was defending his life and the life of his co-employees.” Surveillance video of the attempted robbery showed Ersland fire a shot and Parker fall out of camera view. Ersland then chased the other teen out of the store before returning, getting a second handgun, and firing five more shots that prosecutors said killed Parker.
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