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This much we know: Jerome Ersland, an Oklahoma City pharmacist, kept at least two guns within easy reach. On May 19, 2009, Antwun “Speedy” Parker (16) and his gun-wielding pal came into the pharmacy attempting to rob the place, Ersland shot Parker in the head from behind the counter. At the time, Parker was trying to put on a mask. Parker’s partner in crime fled the scene.

Ersland briefly went outside in pursuit. When he came in, he walked past the immobilized Parker, who was laying on the floor of the pharmacy. Ersland set down his gun and picked up another gun, then walked over to Parker and put five more bullets in Parker’s guts. A picture is worth a thousand words. A surveillance video is worth many thousands of words and also many thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees.

Knee-jerk reaction: Ersland shot parker in self-defense and in the defense of others. Not a hard presumption to make and likely one that would fly in any court in the country. BUT an additional quintuplet of ventilating bullets on a perp who is already down and apparently out to count daisies does not sit well with Oklahoma City District Attorney. David Prator charged Ersland with first-degree murder.

Take a look at the surveillance video. What would you do? Parker was also unarmed, but in the moment, one could hardly have expected Ersland to know that. It’s also interesting that Jevontai Ingram (14) appears to have racked the slide four times while inside the pharmacy but never fired a shot.

It’s been two years since the attempted robbery and shooting. Ersland’s trial starts on Monday, May 16th. And here’s the problem: Ersland keeps changing his story. According to newsok.com:

Prosecutors . . plan to point out to jurors that he gave different accounts about when he shot Antwun Parker five more times. He told police at first it was before he chased the other robber, Jevontai Ingram, out the store. He later said it was after he followed Ingram outside, came back inside and got a second gun. Prosecutors say the change proves a consciousness of guilt.

In other words, despite the “extra” gut shots, chances are Esrland might have walked if he didn’t talk to The Oklahoman, Fox News and, especially, the Oklahoma City police. He violated the three post-shooting rules:

1. Say nothing to the police except that you believed your life was in danger and “I will make a full statement after I talk to my lawyer.” Nothing else. Nada. No details. None. Not a one. Niente. Nada. Nix.

2. Talk to your lawyer. [Pre-1: have a self-defense shooting-experienced lawyer on speed dial.]

3. Say nothing. Do not talk to the media. Do not blog about the incident. Do not talk to your friends or family. If your lawyer gives you the all-clear, then you can talk about what happened. Even then, think very carefully about what you say.

40 Responses to Self Defense Tip: STFU

  1. I think I would have left it at the head shot. Of course, this man was actually there and was at the time dealing with the massive amounts of adrenaline in his system, a loud ringing in his ears and a ton of other things. Who the hell knows what I would have done…

  2. Under the law he is guilty of manslaughter. The perp was down and out. A call to 911 was in order plus he lied to the police. If I were a juror I would be voting thumbs down on the guy. An adrenaline rush is not a defense.

    • A good lawyer will be able to incorporate the facts or the case into a plausible, coherent narrative.

      All Americans are entitled to a legal defense. And the right to remain silent. The success of the first often depends on exercising the second.

    • No, he’s guilty of murder. It’s not imperfect defense because there is no way to reasonably assume that someone who is on the ground with a likely mortal wound and no visible weapon is posing an IMMEDIATE threat to your or others. Moreover, if he had assumed that, he could have simply stayed outside of his store until police arrived. Even in states with Castle Law/”stand-your-ground” laws, use of force needs to be reasonable and proportionate. Shooting a downed person five times isn’t.

      • I’m not a lawyer, but you can’t see the perp on the ground. Head shot or not, the biz owner might have saw movement and was in fear.

        Other than that zip the lip.

  3. Four “mistakes” in my view;

    1) He followed the B/G out of the store thus needlessly exposing himself. Stay inside, call 911 and keep the downed B/G covered until the po-po arrive.
    2) Putting 5 more into the 1st B/G after coming back into the store. He might have gotten away with putting 1 or even 2 more into the guy before leaving the store but not after coming back in and retrieving a second gun.
    3) Not confiscating and destroying the video tape.
    4) Opening his mouth not once, not twice but at least 3 or 4 times.

    The title of the blog says it all STFU no mater who you are talking to (except your “mouthpiece” of course).

  4. I’m all for self defense, but this guy crossed the line. Now if he had double tapped this guy the first time, that would have been acceptable but what he did was wrong.

    • I love it when I agree with Joe.

      What I find a little surprising is all this talk about STFU. Is that to say it’s OK to shoot a downed guy as long as you get away with it by keeping quiet? I think you guys are going too far even in your Monday morning quarterbacking.

      • No that is not to say that. That is to say that it’s up to the DA, and then the jury, to decide guilt or innocence.

  5. Shooting the guy in the ground took this from a self defense shooting to murder, and it is indefensible. He simply should not have done it.

  6. He could argue that he went outside to make sure there weren’t other accomplices and that the bad guy wasn’t coming back. The next scene looks pretty bad, it looks like an execution. Unless there is another angle showing the perp reaching in his jacket or something the pharmacist is (rightly) toast.

  7. Yea I’m with the three comments in front of me; unless that other kid was reaching for a gun, he executed him. He’ll get his day in court and most likely lose.

    Despite that unpleasantness, the STFU comment is one to be heeded. You have a right to be silent and seek counsel, so use it, politely of course. There’s nothing wrong with telling the authorities that you will cooperate with their investigation and give a statement, but that you would like to speak with your attorney first.

  8. I’m curious as to what all the woman in the first scene saw. I think he simply flew into a rage having a weapon pointed at him, struck the 2nd suspect-oh, well, but then stormed out to finish the 1st suspect. Returning, rearming and executing the 2nd-not good. As for the rest-Oh, hell yes-call a good lawyer. Losing your control is what is going to put him in prison. I once had a struggle with a junkie in a hospital room. The idiot deputy I’d relieved left the bed to arm restraints off. Junkie tried to bite me, I threw an elbow. For a few shocking moments I thought it was all over…as I saw his lower bridge slide in his mouth, I thought I’d broken his jaw. Turned out that meth had left him toothless and with dentures at 30. Luckily-no bite, as it later turned out he had hepatitis B and C.

  9. “If your lawyer gives you the all-clear, then you can talk about what happened.”

    If your lawyer gives you the all-clear, get a new lawyer.

      • That’s just it. There’s no “post-wrangle” after a deadly shooting. State charges, civil actions, federal charges . . . it goes on and on. The best tactic is to STFU. If anything needs to be said at any time, your lawyer should do all the talking. His or her comments do not constitute evidence.

  10. The right to STFU is a right most of my criminal defense clients forget to exercize. Don’t be like (most of) my clients. STFU.

    • It’s like what comedian Ron White said of his arrest for public intoxication: “I had the right to remain silent, but I did not have the ability.”

  11. Aaron or Robert F., are you sure the perp wasn’t dead before Ersland unloaded on him?

    Parker took a shot to the head. Yes, I know it’s possible he was just knocked out, however, I have to wonder.

    I know AP says the perp was unconscious, but, it’s still AP and it’s not that unusual for prosecutors to pursue a questionable case.

    My point being that if the perp was dead before Ersland shot him a few more times, Ersland is not guilty of murder. Very difficult to kill a person who is already dead.

    • The prosecution is saying the kid wasn’t dead, though at the same time, a “blood spatter expert” says while Parker was on the ground, he wasn’t moving. Maybe he’ll get manslaughter, but if Parker was dead from the first shot to the head, the other five shots could technically be considered “abuse of a corpse.” The trial will last a couple weeks. We’ll see what happens.

      • Okay, thanks for the reply.

        Just to clarify, whether or not Parker was dead, Ersland’s actions were grotesque.

  12. Why is this guy being charged? I don’t get it. Lessee…two murderous thugs storm in screaming threats – one pointing a gun and the other with a backpack bomb. Ersland heroically discharges his Judge in their direction – luckily hitting one of the hoodlums. In an effort to protect the ladies (and himself) he puts himself in great danger by exiting the door to confront an unknown number of the gang. He returns and hurries to obtain his defensive 3AT, obviously unable to spin around or run any faster due to his condition. The thug with the backpack bomb is an immediate threat to kill everybody in the building. Ersland neutralizes the killer with 5 rounds to center of mass – exactly what he should have done. He demonstrates tremendous restraint by not exhausting the 7 rounds in the 3AT. All if this is clear on the vid. The DA then makes the insane charge. What’s the matter with this DA??? The only acceptable outcome is a not guilty verdict, complete restitution to Ersland for all time and monies, removal of immunity to allow Ersland to sue in civil court, and retire this power-hungry DA coupled with revocation of license to practice.

  13. “In other words, despite the “extra” gut shots, chances are Esrland might have walked if he didn’t talk to The Oklahoman, Fox News and, especially, the Oklahoma City police. ”

    Don’t forget: he talked to NRA News and the president of Taurus too.

  14. I’m not saying it was right but after being shot in the head (if he survived) life gets kinda shitty, almost better to put him out of his misery.

  15. That video shows 2 kids attempting to commit armed robbery, and one man committing an execution.

    Working behind a counter and owning guns for the purpose of self defense does not make you a white hat. There are no white hats: just people who have not committed murder and people who have. Anyone in the world can use their gun to move from the first group into the second.

    I suspect that there are lots of people walking around with the attitude of some of the above posters — basically that as long as someone else initiates the situation, all further actions are ethically justified.

    The video above shows murder, Walter Mitty style. It exactly what the gun grabbers are terrified of, and sorry folks but this mindset is real and everyone needs to be vigilant against it. I would go so far as to state that there are members of the Armed Intelligentsia who are actually just would-be murderers, fantasizing about the moment of their kill. They have pseudo-ethical justifications, which makes them even more dangerous.

    My Uncle was an RCMP (Canadian Federal Police) officer in small towns up north, and has stories of saving his own life that would curl your hair. He said that unstable people have a story that they tell themselves — a story about something that will happen and how they will respond. You have to make sure that you don’t give them the first half of that story, because they will make the second half real for you. No thinking involved.

    The killer above had such a story; he’d probably rehearsed the scenario in his mind a thousand times. He probably told himself cutesy slogans like “if you’re going to shoot someone, make sure they’re dead because dead criminals can’t sue which is why the police use hollowpoint bullets”.

    He probably still doesn’t realize what he is. (Although I bet his cellmate will help him understand eventually.)

    • Yeah, sure…everybody is out to get you eh? Hardly. Look, the vid is very clear – one thug waiving a gun in his face and the other getting a grip on the cord to pull the detonator. Some bleeding hearts think he should have gotten behind the females so they would be the first to be shot. This was in broad daylight with traffic clearly evident – very desperate and dangerous hoodlums…the kind who kill for no reason. Given his disability I doubt if Ersland could have wrestled away the pull cord shown in the vid. He may have saved not only himself and the ladies, but all others in the vicinity. Anyone with two brain cells to rub toghther will declare him not guilty after viewing that vid. Not only so, but full and complete restitution must be made to this hero. Ersland does run his mouth, but wait a sec…ever had a gun held to your head? I have. Lack of focus and diarrhea of the mouth is a psychological quirk which affects all of us. Statements under duress are given little weight if even admissible. It is apparent that his actions were fault-free, honorable, and heroic.

      • ^you’re the guy I’m talking about.

        You’re the guy who’s walking around with access to deadly force and a half-told story about when you would be morally justified in executing someone. Never mind the fact that he is lying at your feet with a bullet in his brain: he was the original belligerent party and you believe that you are therefore justified in any harm that you choose do to him.

        You’re waiting on someone, anyone, to make the first half of the story happen. So that you can fulfill your fantasy of the second half.

        Just keep in mind that that attitude can land you in jail for a very long time, likely fulfilling someone else’s fantasy while you’re at it.

        • In most states the ‘home’ definition extends to your auto and business premises. In the view of above poster it is better not to prepare and stand idly by while vicious thugs rape and beat your wife and daughters, with only a kind word such as “thank you kind sirs for not killing everyone in the neighborhood…we love you”. Moron.

        • Yes, we ARE justified in killing violent criminals when they attack us.

          Don’t like it? We don’t care.

          Maybe you’ll understand some day, if you’re unfortunate enough to lose someone you care about to a violent criminal who was spared by a bleeding heart like yours.

  16. I notice there is no sound attending the vid. It would be very revealing to know what was screamed during the initial attack by the thugs. Having myself been in extreme situations I think Ersland himself may be unclear. Did the words “kill”, “blow you to pieces”, “shoot”, “bomb”, etc escape their lips amid the expletives? If I were offering defense I would want to know. Any of these words would trigger a response to the horrid bomb threat evidenced by the backpack and cord for which one of the perps continued to grasp. That would be terrifying and mandatory to neutralize the terrorist/thug ASAP. If it were me I think I would have emptied the .380. We can’t see if the downed thug was moving in an attempt to detonate a bomb, but it is clear Ersland did only that which he had to do and did not empty the magazine. Alive or dying one may thrash around and remain dangerous. Kudos to Ersland.

  17. Dude, this isn’t Israel. Who in North America builds or knows how to build a cord-activated suicide bomb, and then takes it into an inner-city pharmacy as a way of stealing the cash from the till?

    You might as well claim that those kids were obviously going to use black magic, were from another planet, or were demons. Any such defenses will only help you if you’re entering an insanity plea.

    • As I understand it, all you need to do is to claim you have a weapon (bomb, gun, whatever) and the charge goes from “robbery” to “armed robbery.” If a perp tells me he has a bomb, and I have the means to stop him from blowing us all up, I’m really not going to stop and ponder the odds of him REALLY having a bomb, nor would I take into account the likelihood that he has the smarts to build one. Ever heard of the book “The Anarchist’s Cookbook?” I’ve not read it, but from what I hear, it’s got some pretty detailed plans for bombs and such. Then of course, there’s the Internet, where all sorts of dangerous stuff is at your fingertips. Also remember Tim McVey? I don’t think he was a member of Mensa, yet he figured out how to bring down a large Federal building with a truck, some fertilizer and a few other ingredients. And you think some gang-banger couldn’t rig some kind of explosive device? I wouldn’t bet my life on it.

      • I guess I’d try it out on a jury if I really liked taking long, soapy showers with groups of athletic men.

        I’m not saying it’s technically impossible for some disaffected urban street thug to build a suicide bomb and then use it to rob a pharmacy for cash and drugs. I’m saying that it’s so preposterous that it’s silly.

        If my lawyer told me to tell a jury that I executed (that’s right) an inner-city black kid in Oklahoma (who already had a bullet in his brain before I came in the door) because I “thought he was a suicide bomber”, I’d ask the lawyer if the whole thing had been an MTV prank.

        Imagine the precedent they’d set: empty a magazine into anyone with a backpack or a briefcase, then tell the jury that he screamed that he was going to blow the place up before you put him down.

        On the bright side, I bet that there are lots of openings for pharmacists in prison. He’ll be popular for a number of reasons.

        • brian says:
          May 31, 2011 at 2:27 PM
          …thug to build a…bomb and then use it…I’m saying that it’s so preposterous that it’s silly..If my lawyer told me to tell a jury…who already had a bullet in his brain…Imagine the precedent they’d set…

          Whew, glad that couldn’t happen. Think Columbine (and many many such) – I wouldn’t be writing this if they had been successful. Not “preposterous” – an everyday threat. If the lawyer “told me to tell” I would suggest court and bar sanctions, yank his license to practice, and demand return of all monies. I’m sure the backpack and cord for which the thug was grasping merely contained storybooks he was going to read to his ill grandmother, and he wanted to obtain some pain meds for her. Noble thug that Speedy. Glad to see it is certain he had a “bullet in his brain”…a .45 slug in the brain is certain instant death and settles the charge. It would serve us well if we were not to defend ourselves against thugs with guns waiving in our faces and/or bomb threats. To do so would set a precedent whereby every child with a capgun or pointing with his finger would be a a target. C’mon! This is asanine. The vid is patently clear – gun had a purpose – backpack had a purpose – defense was the only option. There was neither prosecution nor defense. It is incredible that a room full of jurors with this shallow mindset could even be found. Ersland does not need a pardon, he has done nothing for which he needs to be pardoned. We’ll see if/when the ‘Jerome Ersland Act’ becomes law and if it will be retroactive. In either case US citizens should hang their collective heads in shame.

  18. rian says:
    May 30, 2011 at 3:36 PM
    “Dude (sic), this isn’t Israel. Who in North America builds or knows how to build a cord-activated suicide bomb, and then takes it into an inner-city pharmacy…

    Surely you are not serious. Consider…who in this age of easy info would have any trouble whatsoever? A child could do it. Possibly even Brian could do it. If indeed threats of a bomb attended the attack it would be a totally effective defense – however Ersland’s witnesses were ruled inadmissible by the judge. This is in itself grounds for a new trial. I trust he will soon be afforded a fair trial, and that he will seek competent counsel.

  19. Parker gave Ersland the perfect right to be Judge, Jury, and Executioner when he and his bud walked into the place with a gun to threatened the Very innocent lives of all those in the store. It does not matter if Ersland was stupid and talked and talked, changed his story once or 20 times, or even shot once or 20 times. It does not matter if he calls or does not call 911 or his grandmother to talk about a Sunday dinner. The fact is Parker ( I do not care if Parker is black, white, or green) came into the store with his buddy to threaten lives of those in that store on this earth. Parker took it upon himself when he got involved and HE decided HIS existence, and HIS needs were much more important than those in that store. Mr Ersland was the only person prepared to confront Mr Parker and his aggression and put to an end Mr Parker risk taking.
    Any other dissecting of these facts is designed to be smoke and fog the issue. The District Attorney needs to be fired next election by the good citizens of OKC for his decision to prosecute this case, has now threatened the lives a little bit more than they already are. The very fact our state legislation by the 21st Century does not have a law to protect the lives of those in a commercial business the same as a residence against life threatening intruders and shielded from lawsuits from these all of a sudden “loving family”, should provide evidence as to why we need to rid the legislative bodies of attorneys. When they made the “Make My Day” law for your residence, why did they not make for those in a commercial business? Are they bumbling fools, or leaving grey areas for a purpose? In any case, this is why we need those out of the “LAW” business. The business of “LAW” leaves grey areas where none need to exist. Grey area leaves room for argument. No argument, no case. No case, no money. As for the “Jury”, it is further reason for disappointment when those in this society do not comprehend that they are the “LAW” when the door closes behind them for deliberation. Otherwise, our system would dictate the room be filled with lawyers in the first place. This is where Ersland’s attorneys lost this case. Jury selection is everything in a non-politically correct such as this. For reasons beyond my comprehension, let a bunch of easily swayed personalities get thru selection process.

  20. Usually, when a drug store is robbed, it it for other reasons thatn the till. While most would take advantage of it, the original reason is to get drugs, which is why anyone goes back to see the pharmacist.

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