Criminal Attorney Oklahoma Defense Lawyer Adam R. Banner OKLAHOMA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY AT LAW

Ex-Pharmacist Appeals Murder Conviction in Federal Court


On May 19, 2009, two masked intruders attempted to rob the Reliable Discount Pharmacy in Oklahoma City. Only one got out alive.

The would-be robbers were 14-year-old Jevontai Ingram and 16-year-old Antwun "Speedy" Parker. The two teens were acting under the direction of two adults, Emanuel D. "E-Man" Mitchell and Anthony D. "Black" Morrison. Morrison provided a gun to the younger teen; Mitchell waited outside the pharmacy in a stolen getaway car.

When the teens entered the store, pharmacist Jerome Ersland, acting in self-defense and in defense of two female employees of the store, shot at the intruders, striking Parker in the head and rendering him unconscious before chasing Ingram out the door. Ersland was initially lauded as a hero for protecting his employees; however, surveillance video soon had the pharmacist on trial for murder.

After Ersland shot and disabled Parker, he ran after Ingram before returning to the store, getting a second gun, and shooting Parker five more times. Investigators said at that point, Parker was alive but unconscious and no longer a threat to Ersland or the other employees of the Reliable Discount Pharmacy. His actions, prosecutors said, were no longer justified, but were instead murder.

At trial in 2011, a jury convicted Ersland of first degree murder, sentencing him to life in prison.

Ersland and his attorneys appealed. In June 2013, he lost his first appeal, with the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals rejecting all of his complaints and upholding his conviction.

The appeals court also upheld the conviction of Morrison, Parker's cousin, but ordered a new trial for Mitchell, who appealed on the grounds that he was  not allowed to represent himself.

At the time he lost the appeal in 2013, Ersland's attorney said, "Well, I guess the only shot then is federal court."

He lost an appeal again in federal court in Oklahoma City, and now he is taking his last-ditch appeal to the federal court in Denver. His new attorney has filed paperwork at the 10th U.S. District Court in Denver, Colorado, where he hopes Ersland's conviction will finally be reversed.

Ersland's latest appeal is based on "new evidence," in which he claims to now remember that the second gun--the one used to kill Parker--was in his pocket all along, and not in a counter drawer. He says this supports his story of how he was going behind the counter to call 9-1-1, not to get another gun, and that he only shot again because he saw Parker move.

U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton already ruled against Ersland, saying the video surveillance video shows Erland "making a beeline" to the counter in which the gun was held and "walking right past the phone" to do so. He also referenced all of the previous deception shown by Ersland in the early days of the case. His history of dishonesty in conjunction with the video evidence seem to support that this "new evidence" in the form of a recently recovered memory is, in fact, just another falsehood in a last-gasp effort to reverse his conviction and/or life sentence.

Ersland will not be eligible for parole until 2049.

All News

More News

Ex-Pharmacist Appeals Murder Conviction in Federal Court

On May 19, 2009, two masked intruders attempted to rob the Reliabl..

Despite Denied Request, U.S. Justice Department Plans Inspection of Oklahoma County Jail

There is no question that the Oklahoma County Jail has had more th..

Oklahoma County Jail Criticized for Lack of Transparency in Jail Deaths

Last year, the Oklahoma County Jail broke a new record, although i..

ACLU Seeks Justice for Mom Serving 30 Years for "Failure to Protect"

Life wasn't going well for Tolando Hall or her children in 2004. H..

Tulsa Man "Wins" Appeal, but Gets Longer Sentence as a Result

It was a short-lived victory for a Tulsa County man convicted of r..

Yukon High School Teacher Charged After Allegations of Sex with Student

Another Oklahoma teacher has been arrested and charged with a sex ..

Oklahoma District Attorneys Council to Implement Roadside Scanners to Catch Uninsured Motorists

Oklahoma is believed to be the first state in the nation to implem..

Ada Man Uses Porn Mags as Body Armor in Knife Fight

You shouldn't bring a knife to a gunfight, but according to one so..

Oklahoma County Jail Denies Federal Inspection Request

Since 2009, the Oklahoma County Jail has been under federal oversi..

Former Day Care Owner Convicted in Infant's Death

The former owner of a Norman day care facility has been convicted ..