Monday, June 8, 2009

Jerome Jay Ersland is Pharmicist Charged with First Degree Murder for Self-Defense

An Oklahoma City man, Jerome Jay Ersland, is the pharmacist charged with first degree murder for defending himself against hardened criminals attempting to rob his pharmacy.

Anthony D. Morrison and Emanuel D. Mitchell
The two men pictured above and involved in robbing the pharmacy "have spent much of their lives behind bars (read their rap sheet here) on convictions of robbery and other crimes, including violent offenses. Both are from Oklahoma City, OK. Anthony D. Morrison, 43, is charged with first-degree murder. Emanuel D. Mitchell, 31, is charged with first-degree murder. The two men above "recruited" Jevontia Ingram, only 14 years old, and Antwun "Speedy" Parker, 16 years old, to walk into the pharmacy and rob it of drugs and money. The two hardened criminals waited for the teens in getaway cars, one of which was STOLEN. Morrison and Mitchell are charged with first-degree murder because the law allows the charge if a death of anyone occurs during a robbery. In this case, Antwun Parker died when the pharmacist, Ersland, allegedly shot him five times. Because Morrison and Mitchell talked two teenagers into invading a pharmacy and demanding drugs and money, people are dead and the pharmacist who tried to defend himself, is now also facing first-degree murder charges. Something is wrong with a law that lets you shoot someone once time to defend yourself, on your turf, but doesn't let you shoot them until they are dead. Jerome Jay Ersland is accused of "vigilante justice," and charged with first-degree murder. He out on bail of $100,000 paid by an anonymous donor. He is a former Air Force lieutenant colonel. He wears a back brace due to previous back surgery. The District Attorney David Prater says it was okay for Mr. Ersland to shoot Parker once in the head, but it was not okay to fire additional shots into him. The NAACP calls it an "execution-style" murder. A video camera shows that Ersland had guns pointed at him and two women working with him. Irven Box, Erland's attorney said there has been an enormous out-pouring of support for him.
Under Oklahoma's "Make My Day Law" - passed in the late 1980s and named for one of Clint Eastwood's most famous movie lines - people can use deadly force when they feel threatened by an intruder inside their homes. In 2006, Oklahoma's "Stand Your Ground Law" extended that to anywhere a citizen has the right to be, such as a car or office. "It's a 'Make-My-Day' case," Box said. "This guy came in, your money or your life. Mr. Ersland said, `You're not taking my life.'" The gunman "forfeited his life."
This outrages me, and many, many others in Oklahoma. Not only must you defend yourselves with a weapon, you must defend others who work for you. Then you are charged with first-degree murder. I see no way, other than legal spin, that Prater can defend this.
Jerome Jay Ersland

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