Whatever happened to this guy?

A few year ago, there was a significant criminal case in the news that I tried to follow for a while. I lost track of it though and never found out how it ended. My memory of the details of the case are a little fuzzy but I’ll tell what I know and hope that the dopers can fill in the details.

I believe it involved a jewelry store owner in Texas but I can’t swear to that. The store owner is in his place of business when two people, one of them armed, enter the store and attempt to rob the owner at gunpoint. The store owner grabs his own weapon and shoots, grazing the skull of the unarmed thief. The unarmed thief drops to the floor, unconscious and bleeding heavily while his partner runs for it with the store owner in pursuit. The store owner soon returns to the store, sees the person he shot still there and unmoving. The store owner then fires four or five more shots into the stomach of the injured person and then notifies the police. The police show up and arrest the store owner for murder.

That’s basically where I lost track of the story. In the discussions in which I was involved, there were several common reactions:

  1. The first shot was justified but the next several were over the line. Book him for 2nd degree murder, maybe give him some credit for his emotional state and let him plead down to manslaughter.

  2. The first shot was justified and lethal. The shots that followed can’t be called murder because he was already dead when those shots were fired. Charge him for desecrating a corpse and leave it at that.

  3. One less thief - this is a problem?

Does any of this sound familiar? Can any Doper assist me.

Here’s what I think is the original thread http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=519469

and here’s a related one http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=520485

That’s definitely the case I was looking for. I screwed up the type of store and the location and you still managed to sort it out. Many thanks.

Anyone know how the investigation worked out?

I don’t remember that case, but it reminds me of a similar one in (I think) Milwaukee. Two guys hold up a Payday Loan place. Security guy shoots and kills one, the other takes off but is caught soon after. The security guy doesn’t face charges, but the other guy ends up charged with the murder of his accomplice.
I’m sure there were more details then that, but I don’t remember them off the top of my head.

In your case, it seems the big mistake was not leaving well enough alone, he had to go back for more.

That would be an example of the felony murder doctrine; if someone dies during the commission of a felony, you can be charged with murder even if you never intended to kill anyone, and even if you did not directly cause the death.

There have been people charged with felony murder even when accomplices died in accidents; for example, by crashing the getaway car during a bank robbery.

The thread linked to by Andy L mentions that the store owner is a pharmacist named Jerome Ersland and a Google News search indicates that the trial against him is proceeding. The judge ruled against having television cameras in the courtroom and jury selection starts on December 6.

Many thanks. My own Google-fu found that same article but I assumed my search skills were faulty. Five and a half years later and we’re still hashing this out. Speedy trial my arse.

If there is not a speedy trial, it is generally because the defense has waived their rights to a speedy trial.

What do you mean by “five and a half years later?” One of the articles says, “Jerome Ersland was charged with first-degree murder after he shot a robber six times at the Reliable Discount Pharmacy in Oklahoma City in May 2009. He claims he acted in self defense. Killed was Antwun ‘Speedy’ Parker, 16.”

At any rate, now that I have the name of the pharmacist, I can keep track of it myself. Many thanks.

I’m screwing up left and right. Sorry about that. I read the wrong date. My timeline is all distorted. Probably best to just ignore me.

[quietly slipping away]

Well, that would explain it. “Speedy” is dead, so you can’t try him! :smiley:

Seriously, “speedy trial” doctrine today says you’re entitled to be tried within six to nine months of arrest if you wish, sooner if possible but with extenuating circumstances allowing the prosecution to push it to those limits. Any time lost as a result of defense deliays does not count towards the speedy trial clock.

Barely mentioned in that old thread as Tomndebb shut it down just as this was mentioned -> that pharmacist stated, after the killing, he was a Gulf War veteran even though he was discharged prior to war even starting! Liked telling folks of his PTSD from combat service; the news stories (local stations) I saw disgusted me with his apparent attempt at portraying himself a ‘military hero’ who saved people’s lives by killing a bad guy. (iirc). Spent his last military days at Altus AFB, Oklahoma, a not-too-big Base, fwiw. He’s fighting the release of his military records for some reason , or maybe that has been resolved by now. From that article:* Ersland admitted last week he had misrepresented his military service. He said he was a liaison officer for the Air Force during the war.*

I wonder if any other ‘facts’ are really as he says? I can’t believe a word he says since learning he tried to use false military service to prop-up his reputation. Pulls the rug out from under him, hard and fast, regarding credibility and truthfulness.

No problem. The funny thing is that I remembered most clearly the reference to Howard Johnson’s in the other thread - so that’s what I searched for, allowing me to find the primary thread (because the related thread had a link to the original one)

Goes to show that it’s better to be clever than speedy.

If anyone is still interested, Mr Ersland was found guilty of first degree murder, yesterday. The jury had the option of finding him guilty of a lesser manslaughter charge, but went for the whole enchilada. Gag orders are in effect until after he’s sentenced (I believe). Link to local story.

Thanks for the update, and the sentence is well deserved.

Yeah, what the heck? That is some unusual spam there.

Did the jury know that Mr. Ersland misrepresented his military service? As Ionizer mentions, for a lot of people that might seriously undermine his credibility. If the jury heard about that, I can see that convincing them that he’s guilty.

Maybe, but how much difference would it make when they have video of him putting 5 more bullets into an unconscious guy?

But, other than being a general asshole, why did he make that up? Did he claim that he was flashing back to some past combat and thought he was killing an enemy soldier? I would have thought that a combat veteran, being more experienced in gun fights, would be less likely to panic and pump bullets into a helpless foe than a first-timer.

Well sure, it might be pretty straightforward to you and me, but a lot of the comments on those news stories from Oklahoma City were of the “He’s a vet, he did society a favor by putting down a bad guy” variety. And there was the whole “It all happened so fast, he was hopped up on adrenalin and not thinking straight” issue. It wouldn’t have surprised me if he had been acquitted or convicted of manslaughter instead of murder. So I wonder if the whole “he lied about his military service” thing factored into the jury’s decision.