Ersland's Son Says Dad Isn't a 'Cold-Hearted Killer'

Friday, July 8th 2011, 12:38 am
By: News 9

Havonnah Johnson, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- On Monday, a judge will sentence pharmacist Jerome Ersland for murdering a teen who tried to rob his store, but Ersland's supporters aren't giving up on having the sentence overturned.

Armed with some 30,000 signatures, Ersland's son, family, and friends presented a petition for his pardon to Governor Mary Fallin Thursday.

For the first time since the trial, more is being learned about the man convicted of killing 16-year old Antwun Parker.

Jeff Ersland, Jerome's son, said his dad isn't a cold-hearted killer.

When the guilty verdict was read in May, the pharmacist didn't flinch.  Some people who were horrified by the deadly robbery attempt and called Ersland cold.

"He is pretty much the opposite of that. I think he was instructed during the trial to not show any emotion or give facial expressions or anything like that," Jeff Ersland said.

Jeff Ersland remembers a dad who was supportive and kind. He joked at family Christmases and laughed at his son's wedding. Now Jeff only sees his dad behind bars.

"The hardest part is when I go visit him at the jail and I try and be positive and strong and supportive of him, but it's hard to do when you essentially have a broken heart yourself about the whole trial," Ersland said.

He sympathized with the family of the murdered teen. Now Antwun Parker's mother is suing Reliable Pharmacy.

Ersland said his father should have never gone behind the counter to get the second gun to shoot Parker five more times.

"I'm not sure how I would've responded. Maybe I would've done the same thing or maybe I would've laid down and gave the kids my wallet, but, yes, I do agree it was excessive. I don't believe he is a murderer at all," Ersland said.