Antwun Parker remembered as good kid who loved to play basketball

BY ROBERT MEDLEY Modified: May 30, 2009 at 7:12 am •  Published: May 30, 2009
He was known as "Speedy,” a jokester who liked to do back flips when he danced and hoped to make his mother rich by playing basketball.

From the time Antwun Parker was 3, he carried a backpack with his basketball shoes in it so he could practice on the spur of the moment, his mother, Cleta Jennings, said Friday. He was wearing the backpack when he was shot to death last week in a pharmacy hold-up attempt.

Parker fell in with the wrong crowd, his mother said, just weeks before he and an armed teen burst into Reliable Discount Pharmacy.

Pharmacist Jerome Jay Ersland, 57, has been charged with first-degree murder, accused of firing five rounds into the boy’s body as he lay on the pharmacy floor, having already been shot once in the head.

On Friday, prosecutors charged Jevontia Ingram, 14, Emanuel Mitchell, 31 and Anthony Devale Morrison, 43, with first-degree murder.

Jennings and family members talked about Parker as they gathered at the home of Jennings’ sister, Sharon Jennings, in northeast Oklahoma City.

Parker, the youngest of five children, was a ninth-grader at Seeworth Academy where he was trying to get his grades up so he could go to Douglass High School and play basketball, his mother said. He was a good player, she said. He usually had a worn basketball in his hands.

His aunt, Sheila Osborn of Florida, said she thinks people took advantage of a good kid.

"You can look at the video and you can tell he (Parker) didn’t know what he was doing,” Osborn said, referring to surveillance video that shows him putting on and then adjusting a ski mask before he was shot.

Cleta Jennings said she feels sad for Ersland and his family.

"I’m mad at that man,” she said. "I don’t hate him.”


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