- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 15, 2014

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - A former Oklahoma pharmacist convicted of murder for shooting a would-be robber has pleaded guilty to possessing contraband after he was found with two painkiller patches in prison.

Jerome Ersland was sentenced Monday to two years in prison, which is in addition to the life sentence he’s serving for the shooting death of 16-year-old Antwun Parker at Ersland’s pharmacy in Oklahoma City.

In the contraband case, prosecutors accused Ersland of possessing two Fentanyl painkiller patches at the Joseph Harp Correctional Center in Lexington. Ersland’s son, Jeffrey Ersland, has pleaded no contest to a charge of bringing drugs into prison and was sentenced to probation.

In court records, an Oklahoma Corrections Department internal affairs agent wrote that Jeffrey Ersland “stated that he made a mistake and was scared and had done this because he wanted to help his dad because he is in so much pain,” The Oklahoman reported Tuesday (https://bit.ly/1p6vx2j ).

Ersland had been praised for protecting himself and two female co-workers during the May 19, 2009, robbery attempt at the Reliable Discount Pharmacy in a crime-ridden neighborhood in south Oklahoma City.

Prosecutors concluded Ersland was justified when he shot Parke in the head, knocking him to the ground, and then chased a second would-be robber out of the store. But they said he went too far when he grabbed a second handgun and shot the unconscious boy five more times in the abdomen. A coroner’s report said the latter shots killed Parker.

A 12-member jury rejected Ersland’s claims of self-defense and unanimously convicted him of murder.

Jerome Ersland is currently appealing his murder conviction. The new felony conviction Monday is a blow to his hopes that a governor will one day pardon him or commute his sentence.

“I think it will hurt his chances,” said his attorney, Doug Friesen.

Ersland, 62, will not be eligible for parole on his murder conviction until 2049.

“It’s just a sad situation,” Friesen said.


Information from: The Oklahoman, https://www.newsok.com

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