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.