Judge Denies Motion To Remove Prosecutor In OKC Pharmacist Murder Trial

Thursday, March 31st 2011, 9:07 am
By: News 9

Staff and Wire Reports

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A judge has denied a defense attorney's request to remove an Oklahoma County prosecutor from the case of a pharmacist charged in the shooting death of a 16-year-old boy during an attempted robbery.

Pharmacist Jerome Ersland is charged with first-degree murder in the May 2009 fatal shooting of Antwun Parker. Defense attorney Irven Box has asked District Judge Ray Elliott to recuse District Attorney David Prater from prosecuting Ersland. Judge Elliott denied Box's motion Thursday afternoon.

District Attorney David Prater wasn't present when the ruling was made, but his assistant district attorney Scott Rowland declined to comment, citing a gag order issued by Elliott.

Box also didn't discuss the ruling but asserted that his client is innocent of the charge. He says he's considering an appeal.

Box alleged Prater has made Ersland's prosecution personal. Prater said Ersland's case is no different than any other his office handles.

A separate defense motion to remove Elliott from the case was denied.

Ersland allegedly shot the victim in the head, knocking him unconscious, before picking up a second gun and firing five more times.