Adrianna Iwasinski, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The son of pharmacist Jerome Ersland is talking publicly for the first time since his father was convicted.
"Its been pretty stressful," said Jeff Ersland. "Trying to help him out with all his personal matters, his bills and such has been a stressor on me and my family and him as well."
Jeff Ersland joined Karen Monahan, the creator of a petition drive to try to get the governor involved in pardoning Jerome Ersland. Today they presented stacks of papers with more than 17 thousand signatures from people all over the state who want to see Ersland set free. They presented the petitions to Governor Mary Fallin's legal counsel.
"Surprisingly, he's in pretty good spirits," said Jeff Ersland, speaking of his father who's currently in the Oklahoma County jail awaiting his formal sentencing.
"Hopefully the appeals process will go through after his official sentencing on July 11, so hopefully that process goes quickly and is in his favor."
Governor Fallin has stated in the past that the board of pardon and paroles will first have to look over the case before she can even consider it.
After the meeting, Governor Fallin's office released this statement:
"When convicted of a crime, an individual has the right to petition the Pardon and Parole Board to request his or her sentence be commuted. If a majority of the board votes to recommend a commutation, that case then heads to the governor. After conducting her own review that takes into account all the facts of the case, the governor may then decide either to grant or deny the commutation.
"In order to protect the integrity of that process, Governor Fallin's policy is not to comment on individual requests for commutation until both the board and her office have completed their own reviews and the governor has made her final decision."
Ersland was convicted of first degree murder back in May. Prosecutors stated Ersland used excessive force when he shot 16 year old Antwun Parker 5 times while he was lying unconscious on the pharmacy floor. Surveillance video showed Parker and another teenage boy wielding a gun try to rob workers at the Reliable pharmacy where Erlsand worked as a Pharmacist.
"I try to look at the big picture that he was actually a person who was working in his place of employment and it was do to the actions of others that he ended up where he is. " said Jeff Ersland. "He would actually still be working if that hadn't happened."