Supporters Launch Petition For New Trial For Jerome Ersland

Friday, May 17th 2013, 3:50 pm
By: News 9

There is renewed support for Jerome Ersland, the pharmacist who shot and killed a would-be robber and is now serving a life sentence.

Jerome Ersland's supporters and defense team are working on getting a new trial granted, and On Friday, are calling on the public to rally with them.

10/2/2012 Related Story: Attorneys For OKC Pharmacist Jerome Ersland Appeal Murder Conviction

"It's been a while since we heard about the Jerome Ersland case," State Senator Ralph Shortey said.

In fact, it was two years ago that the former pharmacist was found guilty of killing a 16-year-old who robbed the Reliable Pharmacy where he worked.

7/08/2011 Related Story: Jerome Ersland Sentenced To Life In Prison By OKC Judge

On Friday, a new petition was launched at the same pharmacy where it all started almost exactly four years ago.

State Senator Ralph Shortey has been a vocal supporter of Jerome Ersland from the beginning. And years after a conviction and life sentence were handed down, the Oklahoma lawmaker is rallying support for a new trial.

"It's not just for Jerome. But Jerome has become a martyr for basically civil rights. For the ability for someone to protect themselves," Shortey said.

Whether to grant a new trial or let the conviction stand is in the hands of the Court of Criminal Appeals.

"Had all the evidence been presented, it is my belief that he would be a free man today," Defense Attorney Doug Friesen said.

Defense attorney Doug Friesen has taken over Ersland's case including the appeals process. He's optimistic a decision on whether the court will grant a hearing which could, in turn, lead to a new trial will come down in the next three to six months.

10/1/2012 Related Story: Jerome Ersland's New Attorney Ready To Appeal Murder Conviction

In the meantime, Jerome Ersland sits in solitary confinement at the Joseph Harp Correctional Facility in Lexington. But his supporters say they haven't forgotten him and the fight to set him free is far from over.

The first petition in support of Jerome Ersland had 35,000 signatures. So far, more than 500 people have signed the new one.