Defense Calls 1 Witness, Rests In Jerome Ersland Murder Trial

Wednesday, May 25th 2011, 12:21 pm
By: News 9

UPDATE -- Attorneys for Jerome Ersland called just one witness before resting their case in the pharmacist's first-degree murder trial.

The defense questioned an employee who worked with Ersland at Reliable Pharmacy. 

Ersland did not take the stand.

Closing arguments and jury deliberations are scheduled to begin Thursday.

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The prosecution finished presenting its case Wednesday afternoon in the first-degree murder trial of Oklahoma City pharmacist Jerome Ersland.

Before calling its first witness, the defense asked the judge for an acquittal, but the judge refused.

Testimony resumed in the case Wednesday morning one day after the jury was sent home early because of incoming severe weather.

Jurors were given the chance to be excused from duty if they had incurred storm damage Tuesday night, but all of the jurors said they could proceed.

Jurors heard testimony from Ersland's personal physician Dr. Laura Black-Wicks. Black-Wicks testified that she was a personal friend of Ersland and that he had repeatedly asked her to change his medical records to show a gunshot wound to his wrist from the Reliable Pharmacy shooting.

"He asked me to change the records to indicate that he had a gunshot wound and that it had been infected," Black-Wicks said. "I told him I could not just change someone's medical records."

Black-Wicks said she noticed Ersland's wound appeared as if it may have been made by something metallic, but she was not sure if it was related to a bullet wound.

"It wasn't a bullet that was in his arm," she said. "But they were metallic."

Police have stated there's no evidence the robbers fired any shots in the pharmacy during the robbery.

Jurors also heard testimony from Oklahoma City Police Sgt. Everett Baxter who recreated the crime scene.

Baxter said forensic analysis shows that the muzzle of Ersland's gun was 18 to 24 inches away from Antwun Parker's chest and abdomen when he shot him.

The trial was delayed Wednesday morning in order for Judge Ray Elliott to rule on a 3-D simulation Baxter brought to court of his crime scene recreation.

The defense argued that the 3-D recreation simulation should be thrown out because it was based on a police report that guessed Ersland's height.

Ersland's attorneys also argued that no one has ever measured the pharmacist's arm length, so any analysis on how far Ersland held the gun from Antwun Parker when he shot him five more times is inaccurate.

Judge Elliott allowed the 3-D simulation to be shown to the jury after lunch, but told Ersland's attorneys they can note to the jury the reasons they felt the simulation should be thrown out.

Closing arguments can come as early as Friday.