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Oklahoma City pharmacist’s murder trial set for June

BY NOLAN CLAY Modified: December 3, 2009 at 4:31 am •  Published: December 3, 2009
The murder trial for the pharmacist who fatally shot a would-be robber is scheduled to begin June 21 in Oklahoma City.

The jury trial for Jerome Jay Ersland is expected to last more than a week.

Oklahoma County District Judge Tammy Bass-LeSure scheduled the trial after talking Wednesday with the district attorney and lead defense attorney.

Ersland, 58, fatally shot robber Antwun "Speedy” Parker on May 19 at the Reliable Discount Pharmacy in south Oklahoma City. Parker was 16.

Prosecutors charged Ersland with first-degree murder, alleging he went too far when he shot the unarmed would-be robber five more times after knocking him unconscious with a shot to the head.

Ersland said he was defending himself and two female employees from a masked robber who was still moving. He also said he thought Parker had a gun. A second robber fled the drugstore and was apprehended later.

The case has attracted national attention, and the judge already has ruled the trial can be televised once jury selection is complete.

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