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Pharmacy Shooting Murder Suspect To Represent Himself In Retrial

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Man to represent himself in OK Co. retrial. Man to represent himself in OK Co. retrial.
OKLAHOMA COUNTY, Oklahoma -

A man whose murder conviction was overturned by the Oklahoma Court of Appeals was back in court for his retrial Monday.

Jury selection for the Emanuel Mitchell trial started that morning.

Mitchell received a life sentence, but the Court of Criminal appeals ruled he was denied his right to request a new attorney during his first trial. And at this retrial, he plans to represent himself.

9/25/2009 Related Story: Teen Pharmacy Shooting Suspect Testifies in Court

Mitchell watched intently as prosecutors began questioning potential jurors during his murder retrial at the Oklahoma County courthouse. Even though he plans to represent himself pro se, he does have an appointed lawyer on standby to assist in his defense.

A jury convicted Mitchell in 2011 for murder and recommended a life sentence for his role in the Reliable Pharmacy shooting that lead to the death of 16-year-old Antwon Parker.

It was a decision he vowed to appeal.

“I'm going to leave it up to God to avenge this wrongful conviction,” said Mitchell as he was led away to jail after the guilty verdict was read. “The videotape clearly shows the real murderer.”

Even though Mitchell did not pull the trigger, he was accused of planning the robbery at the Reliable Pharmacy and driving both Antwon Parker and Jevontai Ingram to the scene.

But it was Reliable Pharmacy Pharmacist Jerome Ersland who was the one convicted of Parker's actual murder.

This surveillance video showed Ersland stopped the attempted robbery by the two teens. Ingram got away but Parker got shot during the initial confrontation. And the video shows Ersland went on to grab another gun to shoot Parker five more times at point blank range while he was lying on the ground.

Ersland is now serving a life sentence. His murder conviction was upheld the same year that Mitchell's was overturned. The same appeals court that overturned Mitchell's conviction upheld the murder conviction of his co-defendant Anthony Morrison.

Mitchell has fought several aspects of his original case.

5/2/2011 Related Story: Man Found Guilty Of Murder Attacks Oklahoma County Prosecutor

He even punched DA David Prater in the face during the trial. Now the two will come face to face once again.

Mitchell is also accused of trying to bite an officer just moments before the jury read the guilty verdict at the first trial.

Despite all that, the appeals court ruled the judge in the case made a mistake by not letting Mitchel represent himself as requested in his first trial. And though Mitchell is taking a chance by doing so during this retrial, the trial is moving forward with him at the helm.

Jury selection is expected to last two to three days.

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