Defense In Pharmacist Murder Trial Wants Original Judge Back

Friday, March 4th 2011, 3:43 pm
By: News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Jerome Ersland's attorney has filed a motion requesting Judge Tammy Bass-LeSure be reinstated on the pharmacist's murder trial.

Ersland is on trial for shooting a would  be robber at the Reliable Pharmacy.

Judge Bass-LeSure recused herself in August 2010 after prosecutors accused her of misconduct. Prosecutors said Judge Bass-LeSure discussed the case with a personal trainer facing drug charges. Published reports said Judge Bass-LeSure also wrote the names of three attorneys she recommended the trainer use for his case, one of which was an attorney on the Ersland defense team.

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said he didn't believe Bass-LeSure could conduct a fair trial.

Irven Box, Ersland's attorney, told News 9 Friday Judge Bass-LeSure has now been cleared of any wrongdoing related to those allegations, which means she should be allowed to return to the case. He filed a motion Friday morning requesting Judge Bass-LeSure be reinstated.

"The basis of his complaint was that she had committed misconduct and our belief is that now the judicial complaints commission has exonerated her, that reason is now gone," Box said.

Read the motion to reinstate Tammy Bass-LeSure as trial judge.

District Attorney David Prater has not returned News 9's calls for comments on this motion.

Judge Bass-LeSure still faces more than 30 counts of perjury and fraudulent claims for allegedly accepting false claims of foster care reimbursements from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

Box has been trying to have the current judge, Judge Ray Elliott, removed from the case. On Thursday, the Court of Criminal Appeals denied Box's motion to remove Judge Elliot.