Judge Denies Defense Motion To Remove Judge In Pharmacist Trial - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Judge Denies Defense Motion To Remove Judge From Pharmacist Murder Trial

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District Judge Ray Elliott District Judge Ray Elliott
Oklahoma City pharmacist Jerome Ersland is facing murder charges in the shooting death of a would-be robber. Oklahoma City pharmacist Jerome Ersland is facing murder charges in the shooting death of a would-be robber.

Staff and Wire Reports

OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma County judge has denied a motion for a different judge to step aside from the first-degree murder case of an Oklahoma City pharmacist charged in the shooting death of a16-year-old would-be robber.

District Judge Bill Graves handed down the ruling concerning the recusal of fellow District Judge Ray Elliott, who last month refused a defense request to recuse himself from the high-profile case against pharmacist Jerome Ersland.

Defense attorney Irven Box wants Elliott off the case and claims the judge's wife, an assistant district attorney, provided him with an appellate court opinion involving the case. Box also says Elliott has used a racial slur to describe Hispanics. Prosecutors say Elliott's actions weren't inappropriate.

The judge addressed each argument the defense presented for moving that Elliott be removed:

  • THE TRIAL COURT GAVE DEFENDANT'S COUNSEL ADVICE OF HOW TO OBTAIN A NOT-GUILTY VERDICT. "This Court FINDS that the aforementioned statements attributed to Judge Elliott show absolutely no bias or impartiality as to Jerome Ersland."
  • THE TRIAL COURT'S SPOUSE WORKS FOR THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY AND HAS SUPPLIED LEGAL COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTLY RELATED TO THIS CASE. "...this Court FINDS that any help Sandi Elliott gave to Judge Elliott was given only after Judge Elliott had already decided upon his ruling as to cameras, was de minimis, and provides no grounds to disqualify Judge Elliott in this cause."
  • THE TRIAL COURT HAS USED ETHNIC SLURS IN AN OPEN MATTER CALLING INTO QUESTION TO CONDUCT UNBIASED COURT RULINGS. "...this argument is totally untenable, especially in view of the fact that Mr. Ersland is not Hispanic, but Caucasian, and the Court rejects the counterfeit logic behind it."

"The Court FINDS that Judge Elliott has said and done absolutely nothing to call into question his impartiality in this the Ersland case. Neither is there any appearance of partiality or bias which judge Elliott's impartiality could be reasonably questioned."

Read the full order overruling the defendant's motion to disqualify Judge Ray Elliott.

Box plans to appeal the decision to the Court of Criminal Appeals.

Ersland is accused in the May 2009 shooting death of Antwun Parker.

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