Oklahoma Pharmacist Charged With Murder for Coup de Grâce Killing of Robber

1_61_052809_pharmacy02_320An Oklahoma jury will be asked to decided whether pharmacist Jerome Ersland, 57, is a hero or a murderer. A video camera captured Ersland pumping rounds into an unconscious and unarmed teenager who tried to rob his store on May 19th.

Gun rights advocates have rallied behind Ersland and his lawyer insists that the video shows an act of self-defense. The case has many of the disturbing elements as the Gonzalez case in Texas.

Ersland currently faces a first-degree murder charge in the killing of Antwun Parker, 16, and could face a possible death penalty. He shot Parker in the head and then chased another teen outside. When he returned, he delivered the coup de grâce by shooting Parker five more times. An autopsy showed that Parker was still alive before Esland returned and unloaded into this body.

Ersland was not being threatened at that time and was armed. He had already chased one suspect out of the store and shot Parker upon returning. For the video click here. The video shows Ersland walking to the back of the store after returning and then casually coming back to finish off Parker. I fail to see the justification for the final shots as opposed to the first shot.

On its face, it does not appear to be an act of self-defense. We discuss such situations often in torts. Self-defense (as opposed to protection of property) allows the use of lethal force to repel a commensurate and proportional threat. If you are threatened by serious bodily injury or death, you are privileged to use lethal force. However, this privilege does not include the right to retaliate and expires with the passage of the imminent threat.

For the full story, click here.

52 thoughts on “Oklahoma Pharmacist Charged With Murder for Coup de Grâce Killing of Robber”

  1. If on the jury I would never convict the pharmacist. That pookie Antwun Parker had it coming. Instead the pharmacist should be given a commendation for wiping this scum off the Earth so Antwun could no longer rob, maim, rape or kill anyone else, society need not pay for his incarceration nor will he be able to sire any nigglets with his defective DNA that society would also have to pay for in numerous ways.

  2. I think Mr. Ersland is an American Hero. He did kill a robber, not an innocent citizen. When a 16 year old criminal plan to rob he must think twice.
    Everyone support criminals . What is the value of a law abiding victim.
    It is unfortunate to charge Mr. Ersland for murder

  3. CCD,

    Thank you for that update. First-degee murder sounds good to me.

    Follow-ups like this make this site even more worthwhile. Now, the jury of his “peers”…

  4. Sounds like foo might get a round-a-bout very good grade…however, is foo really the legal name on his transcript?


    I read all of the linked articles and I viewed all of the videos.

    Given the actions of the kid w/o the gun at that distance and the positioning of his hands and in the confusion, any reasonable person would be justified the first shot. However, the pharmacist clearly executed the incapacitated kid and he is clearly a murderer, but you choose the degree, considering the totality of the circumstances.

  5. Look at the video again. I would not even say the first shot was justified. He shot the kid that didn’t even have the gun. Ok a kid has a gun pointed at you. Who do you shoot? The kid with the gun or the kid without the gun? Jerome Ersland should get the chair.

  6. The Castle Doctrine, where the term “Make My Day Law” comes from is the landmark 1985 Colorado statute that protects people from any criminal charge or civil suit if they use deadly force. Many versions of the Castle Doctrine, particularly those with a “Stand-Your-Ground clause”, also have a clause which provides immunity from any lawsuit filed on behalf of the assailant for damages/injury resulting from the use of lethal force. The only exceptions to this immunity are generally situations of excessive force, where the defender used deadly force fired on a subdued, cooperative, or disabled assailant. A situation meeting this exception generally invalidates the criminal “Castle Defense” as well.

    Watching the video and the actions of Mr. Ersland, lead me to suspect there is more going on here than a simple act to defend himself. I know there are facts that the DA will present that we do not yet have in public record, but I clearly feel that Ersland was justified in his inital response to the attack. After those intial moments though, I feel his actions were not justifed. A fleeing suspect is not an imminent threat, unless of course you pursue that suspect, and that brings along with it a whole new abundance of issues. That is the role of Law Enforncement to pursue suspects, and in my opinion, not under the scope of the Castle Defense. It appears that Ersland showed no compulsion to present his weapon in both cases of passing over the incapacitated suspect left inside the pharmacy, until he returns with a second weapon, leans over and begins to once again fire on the suspect. After watching the video, I would be more inclined to feel that Ersland’s motivations for firing the second time were not based in fear of imminant threat, but possible retribution or vigilantism. And of course, if this truly is the case, the Castle Defense is out the window.

    NOTE: I am not an attorney or legal counsel. Any views I may present are strictly my opinion only.

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