Teen Pharmacy Shooting Suspect Testifies in Court
By Jon Jordan, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY --Three defendants connected to an Oklahoma City pharmacy attempted robbery that led to a shooting and death appeared in court Friday.
Jevontai Ingram, 15, one of the would-be robbers and charged with murder, testified during a preliminary hearing Friday in Oklahoma County District Court against Emanuel Mitchell and Anthony Morrison. Both men also face murder charges in the death of Antwun Parker.
Ingram said the two men were the masterminds behind the robbery and provided the gun, clothes, mask and transportation for the robbery of Reliable Discount Pharmacy in south Oklahoma City.
"We were in a position where we had two people that we believe to be more culpable than a 14-year-old child, who was a robber and committed a violent act, but he was the person out of anybody who we were willing to talk to," said Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater.
Ingram testified Mitchell and Morrison planned the robbery days in advance, and he and Parker were forced to take part in a robbery that now has Mitchell and Morrison facing first degree murder charges.
"If you find yourself in a position where you're going to commit a felony act or not, you need to understand that if a death results in the act you're going to be held for responsible for the murder as well," Prater said.
Reliable Pharmacy pharmacist Jerome Ersland, 57, was also charged in the killing of Parker on May 19 when Parker and Ingram attempted to rob the pharmacy.
Ersland said he shot Parker to save his own life and the lives of his co-workers. He said Parker and Ingram came into the pharmacy wearing masks and demanding money and drugs.
But the attorney's for Mitchell and Morrison argued the robbery was over when Ersland came back into the store after chasing Ingram and then fatally shot Parker.
"The robbery was over at the time Jerome Ersland drove away the robbers and when he came back in the store the robbery was complete," said Jay Trenary, Emmanuel Mitchell's Attorney
Trenary also argued Ingram who cannot be tried as an adult in exchange for his testimony is reason enough to not take him at his word.
"Here we got a young man who was facing the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison for a robbery he committed. He cut a deal to save his life, literally," Trenary said.
After Friday's testimony both Morrison and Mitchell pleaded not guilty for their involvement in the crime. The judge took their pleas into consideration but ultimately decided to charged the men with first degree murder.
Their murder trials will likely start sometime next year.
Wednesday deputies arrested a fifth suspect, Rozina Sayles, on a murder complaint in connection to the shooting. She was reportedly in the getaway car.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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