Oklahoma County judge in pharmacist's murder case says no to courtroom cameras

The new judge in a trial of an Oklahoma City pharmacist sticks by his original ruling to ban cameras from the courtroom.
BY NOLAN CLAY Published: October 19, 2010

The prosecutor raised several concerns. He said the TV camera would make witnesses more nervous. He also said the video coverage could lead to jury misconduct because jurors would be tempted to look on the Internet at night and re-watch testimony.

Elliott agreed to reconsider his camera ban because media attorneys were not present when he ruled Sept. 1.

Only a few trials in Oklahoma history have been televised. The most notable are the trials of murderer Roger Dale Stafford.

Also, victims of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing were able to watch closed-circuit telecasts of the Denver trials of bomber Timothy McVeigh and co-conspirator Terry Nichols.

Next up in the case is a hearing Nov. 9 on a defense request to disqualify Prater from being the prosecutor at trial.

Ersland's attorneys argue the district attorney has developed a personal emotional stake in the trial's outcome.

"Both Mr. Ersland and the public have a right to a prosecutor who is guided by principles of justice and an appropriate ethical compass, not one blinded by the media spotlight and his own animosity," defense attorneys wrote Oct. 1.

In a written response Monday, prosecutors told the judge that lead defense attorney Irven Box is the one making acerbic or personal remarks about the district attorney. Prosecutors wrote defense attorneys are the ones engaging in name calling and schoolyard taunting. Prosecutors asked the judge to deny the request.

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