An Oklahoma City pharmacis,t who shot and killed a robber in his store, has been sentenced to life in prison. Lawyers for Jerome Ersland vow to appeal the sentence, which Ersland himself called “an injustice of monumental proportion” as he left the courtroom on Monday.
Ersland was convicted of first-degree murder in May for the 2009 death of 16-year-old Antwun Parker. Parker and another teenager tried to rob Ersland’s pharmacy at gunpoint. Surveillance video shows Ersland managing to get his own gun and opening fire, hitting Parker. He chased the other teen out of the store. That teen fled.
When Ersland came back inside, the 59 year old retrieved a second gun, walked over to the wounded Parker who was on the ground, and shot him five more times.
Ersland claimed self defense, saying Parker was still moving. However, prosecutors insisted, and the jury agreed, that Parker was no longer a threat at that point.
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The trial and sentencing has divided the community over whether the killing was justified. Dueling Facebook pages have also cropped up.
The Daily Mail reports Ersland would be eligible for parole in 38 years, when he would be 97 years old.
Here is the surveillance video of the shooting: