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To Fed Courts
Ersland Is Appealing Once Again

Jerome Jay Ersland just won’t give up.

The pharmacist convicted of first-degree murder for killing an already felled teenage robber of a drug store is now appealing his conviction to a federal judge after losing twice at the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals. The 64-year-old pharmacist is serving a life sentence for killing an unarmed, already wounded robber in 2009. He is not eligible for parole until 2049.

Prosecutors convinced jurors during a 2011 trial that the pharmacist went too far when he got a second gun and shot the robber, Antwun Parker, five more times in the Reliable Discount Pharmacy in south Oklahoma City. Mr.Ersland claimed he acted in self-defense.

In a petition filed in August in Oklahoma City federal court, Mr. Ersland argues he did not get a fair trial. He contends his attorneys failed to properly investigate facts that would have uncovered “powerful and highly relevant circumstantial evidence” supporting his defense. Mr. Ersland claims a post-conviction investigation turned up evidence that explained why he thought Antwun Parker had shot at him.

He claims experiments show the bullet he described as having whizzed by his head likely was a ricochet from his own gun. He claims the sound he thought was a gunshot was a trash container breaking. The convicted pharmacist also claims he recovered memories about the shooting because of the post-conviction investigation.

He claims he had suppressed the memories because of post-traumatic stress disorder, and claims he now remembers he had a second gun in his pocket, not in a counter drawer.

The attorney handling his federal appeal contends this is relevant because that description of events supports Mr. Ersland’s claim he was going to call 911, not get a second gun, when he saw movement and shot Antwun Parker five more times. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals in April rejected the same claims. The state court found Mr. Ersland failed to show the alleged new evidence would have changed the trial result.