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Pharmacist's Attorney Says New Details Won't Affect Murder Case Strategy

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Pharmacist Jerome Ersland and his attorney Irven Box in court during a hearing. Pharmacist Jerome Ersland and his attorney Irven Box in court during a hearing.
Antwun Parker was shot and killed by pharmacist Jerome Ersland. Antwun Parker was shot and killed by pharmacist Jerome Ersland.

News9.com

OKLAHOMA CITY -- New details that have emerged regarding the autopsy of a would-be robber in the criminal trial of pharmacist Jerome Ersland will not change the defense's strategy, according to Ersland's attorney Irven Box.

Box and Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater responded Saturday to reports that the Medical Examiner's office interim chief Dr. Andrew Sibley said that 16-year-old Antwun Parker was likely alive after being shot in the head during a would-be robbery but could also still have been perceived as a threat due to involuntary movement and vocal sounds.

Box said Sibley's comments were not surprising.

"It's something that we believed all along were the facts and circumstances that occurred the afternoon that Antwun Parker was shot and killed. No surprises. It just further helps, enhances our defense in this case," Box said.

Ersland was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Parker at the Reliable Discount Pharmacy back in May 2009. Prosecutors said the first shot was justified, but he went too far after he retrieved a second gun and shot Parker five more times.

Earlier this week, reports from the Medical Examiner's office revealed that two senior pathologists called into question the initial findings that the first shot fired during the attempted robbery was not fatal.

Prater maintains that Parker was unconscious but alive when Ersland shot him five times, despite the new medical evidence that surfaced in the case.

Prater said he has not seen anything from the Medical Examiner's officer regarding a new report of the autopsy.

"I still don't have anything from the Medical Examiner's office in front of me, and I won't comment until I have seen that report and have had a chance to talk to Dr. Sibley about it. I will say that I believe that anything the doctor says will still be a jury question. Meaning, that the jury will still have to answer as to whether Antwun Parker still represented a threat."

Ersland is scheduled for trial on September 13.

*Irven Box also serves as NEWS 9's legal analyst.

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