Opening Statements Begin Friday In Trial Of OKC Pharmacist

Thursday, May 19th 2011, 12:53 pm
By: News 9

Adrianna Iwasinski, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY - Opening statements are scheduled to begin Friday for an Oklahoma City pharmacist charged with murder.

Prosecutors allege pharmacist Jerome Ersland shot 16-year-old suspect Antwun Parker during a robbery at Reliable Pharmacy on May 19, 2009.

Jury selection ended Thursday.  The jury that will decide Ersland's fate  is comprised of eight women and four men with two women alternates.

The jurors range in age from their early twenties to their late sixties and all of them are white. Race has been an issue from the beginning in this case because Ersland is white and Parker was black.

The jury was sent home early for the day while the attorneys hammered out whether or not to admit the statement Ersland made to police shortly after the deadly shooting occurred at the Reliable Discount Pharmacy. The judge ruled the statement admissible.

Surveillance video will be a key element to this case since it captured everything that happened.

The video shows 16-year-old Parker and a teenage friend trying to rob the pharmacy and then being shot at by Ersland.

Ersland has claimed self defense, saying he was trying to defend his store and fellow employees.

Parker was shot once initially and then fell to the ground. Ersland is then seen shooting him five more times.

None of Parker's family members were seen in court Thursday, two years to the day he was shot and killed. But both his mother and several family members have said they plan to be there every day of the trial.