Convicted pharmacist to receive commutation hearing

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An Oklahoma City pharmacist convicted of murder in the fatal shooting of a teenage robber has been granted a hearing on his request to commute his life sentence.

The state Pardon and Parole Board has voted to hold a hearing in April for 66-year-old Jerome Ersland.

Ersland's request was the only one of 52 that was approved. The board's website notes that a recommendation for commutation is rare and must be approved by the governor.

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater told The Oklahoman that he will oppose the request.

Ersland was convicted in the 2009 death of 16-year-old Antwun Parker during an attempted robbery.

Ersland claimed self-defense, but prosecutors say he went too far when he fired several bullets into the teen's body after an earlier shot had left him unconscious.


Information from: The Oklahoman,