Jerome Ersland, 59, was sentenced Monday to life in prison with the possibility of parole by Oklahoma County District Judge Ray Elliot after the judge rejected a defense motion to suspend the sentence. With the sentencing, Ersland isn’t eligible for parole until serving 38 years in prison.
A twelve-member jury found Ersland guilty of first-degree murder after prosecutors contended Ersland was justified in shooting armed robber Antoine Parker, 16, once in the head at the Reliable Discount Pharmacy in May 2009, but argued Ersland went too far when he grabbed a second gun and shot five more bullets into the unconscious teen’s abdomen. According to the Medical Examiner’s Office it was the abdominal wounds that killed him.
Related to the case,two other robbers, Anthony Morrison and Emanuel Mitchell were found guilty of masterminding the robbery and Antwun Parker’s murder.
Ersland responded to a reporter’s question, and called the sentencing “an injustice of a monumental proportion.”
Friends and family of Ersland worked to get about 17,000 people to sign a petition in support of his fate and freedom.
Ersland’s attorney, Irven Box, has said that as soon as his client is sentenced, an appeal will be filed.