A Nurse with a Gun

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Conciliatory Request Denied

District Judge Tammy Bass-LeSure has denied a request that Jerome Ersland of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma have access to weapons while he is out on bail for defending his life in an armed robbery attempt. Mr. Ersland, a pharmacist, shot and killed a teenager, one of a pair, who burst into his workplace demanding drugs and money at gunpoint.
"District Attorney David Prater asked the judge to allow Ersland to have access to a gun at work in case the pharmacy is robbed again. The prosecutor said his position "sounds crazy” but he insisted that under the law Ersland has the right to defend himself and others at the pharmacy. At one point, spectators in the courtroom clapped in support of his statements.

The district attorney said he worried crooks now will know it is "open season” at the pharmacy if Ersland is there. He also said Ersland could be fired.

Prater said the pharmacist would not be in court if the two robbers had not come into the drugstore. The judge said, "Then, why did you charge him, Mr. Prater?" The district attorney replied that Ersland went too far."
Prater was referring to the video tape evidence that makes it appear that Ersland returned to the pharmacy, picked up a second handgun, and shot the wounded robber five more times before calling 911. "I’m the one who filed the charge so my butt’s on the line," the District Attorney declared in court. Prosecutors maintain the wounded teen was unarmed and unconscious on his back when he was shot five more times. Mr. Ersland states he acted in self defense when the suspect tried to get up. The actions of the criminal at the time the shots were fired are off camera. The coroner has determined the initial head shot was not the mortal wound.

Jerome Ersland is out on $100,000 bail which was posted by his supporters in gun rights organizations and veteran's organizations. He is a disabled veteran from Desert Storm who wears a back brace and has his back pain controlled with morphine. He is being charged with first degree murder.

A legal defense fund has been set up for Mr. Ersland. Donations can be made to the "Jerome Ersland Defense Fund" at First National Bankd and Truct of Chickasha, 302 W. Chickasha Ave or P.O. Drawer 1130, Chickasha, 73302.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this blog. However even the educated can have bad lapses. This guy went too far, I hope defending this guy won't become a cause that shames the 2nd....
Regards another Xav fan.....

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haven't heard much of Ersland's side of the story in any of these news reports. I'm interested in what the defense comes up with. Right or wrong, I hope all this publicity doesn't put him in greater danger for more robberies. Maybe one of his co-workers will learn to shoot.

11:41 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

I hear you. I just want to point out a couple of things.

We are all innocent until proven guilty.

The criminal, in autopsy, was determined to still be alive after the head shot.

We do not know what the criminal did immediately prior to being shot 5 more times. It is not on camera. Physical evidence will help show it, but only Mr. Ersland knows.

People who believe the criminal was incapacitated are working with just as much imagination as those who believe he was not.

Second guessing a lethal self defense encounter is inherently poor form. We were not there, and all the little things that make a big difference, that are picked up and processed by the subconcious and may not even be recognized by Mr. Ersland until months later are not available for us to evaluate.

Opinions will still differ 50 years from now on this case. The actions of the DA in the hotseat are the most interesting to myself.

5:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The actions of the DA in the hotseat are the most interesting to myself."

I agree; I'm thinking if I'm ever in a self defense shooting I could hardly do better than have this guy looking over my shooting and seeing if charges need to be filed.

This is just an unfortunate case. But Prater seems to be a fair DA.
I like that.

4:21 PM  
Anonymous David said...

Well put Xavier. He is innocent until proven guilty. We'll see what happens in court.

Who even knows what we would do ourselves in a situation like that. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, especially considering he was the one being robbed at gunpoint and it at least started out as a self defense shooting. If evidence proves otherwise, so be it.

4:58 PM  
Blogger Mad Jack said...

I don't have a problem with the shooting. I don't think the DA should have filed any charges against Jerome Ersland, but I admire Mr. Prater's 2A stance.

Thanks for tracking this story.

7:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone who believes that one head shot with an average handgun will always disable a man should talk to a Viet Nam vet I worked with. He was hit twice, obliquely, in the edge og the forehead with a 7.62x39, and while in extreme pain and temporarily blinded in one eye. dazed and knocked flat, was not rendered unconscious. Still able to move his arms and legs and use his hands, which includes being able to point a gun and pull a trigger if required. They had to rebuild the right side of his skull a little bit, and did a pretty good job, since very little skin was destroyed. He's still walking and talking today, as far as I know.

The point of the story - if the attacker is still moving, they are still a threat, head-shot or not. I think this pharmacist did the right thing.

9:21 AM  

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