The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old July 12, 2011, 12:49 PM   #51
Vanya
Staff
 
Join Date: July 7, 2008
Location: Upper midwest
Posts: 4,030
Some of us have followed this case quite closely from the beginning; others have not. Before opining as to the justice of the verdict or sentence, those in the latter group would do well to be sure they understand the facts, both as to the shooting itself and the aftermath, in which Mr. Ersland did, indeed, lie about nearly everything.

The original thread on this case makes interesting reading, but at 33 pages, it's a lot to digest. Those who are coming to this without having followed that thread should at least read this post by Pax, which gives an excellent summary of the facts, and links to several news reports.

And as I wrote in the thread started this May discussing the conviction:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanya View Post
The jury took 3 1/2 hours to reach a verdict and recommend a sentence of life in prison... so they didn't need a lot of convincing.
__________________
"Once the writer in every individual comes to life (and that time is not far off), we are in for an age of universal deafness and lack of understanding."
(Milan Kundera, Book of Laughter and Forgetting, 1980)
Vanya is offline  
Old July 12, 2011, 01:51 PM   #52
icedog88
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 16, 2011
Location: norwich ct
Posts: 737
As stated by many already,I am in COMPLETE agreement with the verdict. I thought long and hard about how to post responsibly as some of the posts I've read sound bizarre to say the least. Would i have shot the would be robbers? Yes, if they were armed, and posed a credible threat. The terms "escalation of force" and "deadly force" need to be explained to some out there. First shot he took was ok if the robber was armed. After he left by his own admission to chase robber 2 and came back, stepped over the the downed robber 1, clearly indicating the threat was minimal at this point, deadly force is NOT authorized. He posed no immediate threat.
__________________
"The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps"-LtGen. Holland M "Howlin' Mad" Smith, USMC,1949
Have you forgotten yet? Look down and swear by the slain of the War that you'll NEVER forget. [Siegfried Sassoon,"Aftermath,"1919]
icedog88 is offline  
Old July 12, 2011, 02:07 PM   #53
redstategunnut
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 14, 2009
Location: see name
Posts: 405
Quote:
WW2, that's an interesting theory, about the victim's age making it 1st degree murder, but I have to call shenanigans. Please cite ANY law that says the victim's age is what determines the existence of premeditation.

I do not practice in Oklahoma, but if WW2 is correct about the age of the victim being a reason for the first degree murder verdict, then you are conflating two separate grounds upon which a first degree murder could rest. Premeditation could be one ground, but not the only, and not even a requisite element of the verdict.

By statute in many places, there are other grounds upon which a first degree murder charge could be based regardless of premeditation. For example, in my state "felony murder" is first degree murder. Felony murder is a murder committed in the act of another, unrelated specified felony. For example, if a robber in the act commits a murder, even completely accidentally, he would be responsible for "felony murder" which is first degree murder. Say these two guys come in to rob the place but one of the robbers accidentally shoots and kills the other. The shooter is guilty of "felony murder" or first degree murder because he committed a homicide in the commission of robbery. This would be the case even if the murder was demonstrably not premeditated.

Therefore, if by statute in Oklahoma the homicide of a minor is classified as a first degree murder, then the issue of premeditation is irrelevant to the verdict. Absent an affirmative defense like self-defense, which in this case the jury obviously (and in my opinion, properly) rejected then the verdict of first degree murder was the result of the aforementioned statute.
redstategunnut is offline  
Old July 12, 2011, 02:47 PM   #54
markj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 27, 2005
Location: Crescent Iowa
Posts: 2,969
That guy made a mistake in going to the drawer and getting another gun then calmly shooting the guy on the ground. Bad choice of actions on his part.
markj is offline  
Old July 12, 2011, 03:48 PM   #55
brickeyee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 29, 2004
Posts: 3,342
There have been a number of misstatements about self defense.

Self defense is an affirmative defense.

You affirm you shot the person, intended to shoot the person, and then must present evidence that the shooting was within the law.

You are no longer 'innocent until proven guilty."
You have admitted guilt in the shooting.

You have admitted to the act of shooting and possibly of killing someone.

Depending on the actual law in the state you may have admitted to some level of homicide.

You do not get to than sit back, but must prove you acted within the law and did NOT commit a criminal act (different states have different statute and common (case) law that defines when you may use lethal force).

We tread a fine line in using lethal force.

It is a crime to kill another person.
The law makes limited exceptions to it being a criminal act.

Simply claiming "self defense" is NOT the end of the of the issue.
You will need to present evidence and convince a court (or jury) your actions did not fall outside the law.
brickeyee is offline  
Old July 12, 2011, 04:09 PM   #56
thallub
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2007
Location: South Western OK
Posts: 2,129
Quote:
So the two armed youn MEN came into his store and threaten him with his life and instead of pacifically giving in to it like the media suggests we all do, he stood up for himself.
Uh, not quite. Only one perp was armed. Ersland shot the unarmed perp and then chased the gunman out of the store. There was no legal problem with Erslands shooting of the unarmed perp.

Erslands big problem started when he returned to the store and shot the wounded perp several more tmes.
thallub is offline  
Old July 12, 2011, 04:29 PM   #57
Wildalaska
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 25, 2002
Location: In my own little weird world in Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 14,174
Quote:
Self defense is an affirmative defense.
Actually in many jurisdictions it is a defense, which means one you adduce sufficient evidence to raise it, the gov't must disprove it BARD.

WildidontknowhowokclassesitAlaska ™©2002-2011
Wildalaska is offline  
Old July 12, 2011, 05:07 PM   #58
Kodyo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 6, 2011
Posts: 320
Good post Vanya!
After reading the interview, it seems to me that he was lying and knew what he did was wrong. Everything he reported that happened did not, and seemed to be fabricated in order to protect himself from what he actually did. As opposed to an elaboration of the facts under a stressful situation.
Kodyo is offline  
Old July 12, 2011, 08:06 PM   #59
WW2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2009
Location: Southern California.
Posts: 198
MLeake...

Quote:
Oklahoma Statutes Citationized
Title 21. Crimes and Punishments
Chapter 24
Section 701.7 - Murder in the First Degree

Cite as: O.S. §, __ __


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A. A person commits murder in the first degree when that person unlawfully and with malice aforethought causes the death of another human being. Malice is that deliberate intention unlawfully to take away the life of a human being, which is manifested by external circumstances capable of proof.

B. A person also commits the crime of murder in the first degree, regardless of malice, when that person or any other person takes the life of a human being during, or if the death of a human being results from, the commission or attempted commission of murder of another person, shooting or discharge of a firearm or crossbow with intent to kill, intentional discharge of a firearm or other deadly weapon into any dwelling or building as provided in Section 1289.17A of this title, forcible rape, robbery with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping, escape from lawful custody, first degree burglary, first degree arson, unlawful distributing or dispensing of controlled dangerous substances, or trafficking in illegal drugs.

C. A person commits murder in the first degree when the death of a child results from the willful or malicious injuring, torturing, maiming or using of unreasonable force by said person or who shall willfully cause, procure or permit any of said acts to be done upon the child pursuant to Section 7115 of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes. It is sufficient for the crime of murder in the first degree that the person either willfully tortured or used unreasonable force upon the child or maliciously injured or maimed the child. [Emphasis added]

D. A person commits murder in the first degree when that person unlawfully and with malice aforethought solicits another person or persons to cause the death of a human being in furtherance of unlawfully manufacturing, distributing or dispensing controlled dangerous substances, as defined in the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act, unlawfully possessing with intent to distribute or dispense controlled dangerous substances, or trafficking in illegal drugs.

E. A person commits murder in the first degree when that person intentionally causes the death of a law enforcement officer or correctional officer while the officer is in the performance of official duties.
See at http://www.knightsindirtyarmour.com/...aStatutes.html
__________________
Clinging to my God and my guns!

Luke 22:36
Quote:
Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
WW2 is offline  
Old July 12, 2011, 09:03 PM   #60
MLeake
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2007
Location: Outside KC, MO
Posts: 10,128
WW2, looks like you were right, at least in part - the age of the decedent could have resulted in a first degree murder charge in its own right, even if Ersland hadn't met the criteria for premeditation (which, in most people's opinions, he did).

However, had the shooting of the minor itself been deemed justified, as it would have if Ersland had not decided, well after the first shot, to get another gun and finish the job, then there would have been no murder charge, and the decedent's age would not have been a factor.

So, I'm still not sympathetic.
MLeake is offline  
Old July 12, 2011, 09:19 PM   #61
TylerD45ACP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 16, 2010
Posts: 1,654
That is kinda messed up I didnt see that it was different. He did something very stupid. I still dont think life in prison is right though. It just seems TOO harsh for a SD shoot he did not cause. He would have not had to use any weapon had not criminals tried to rob him. Maybe he should do 20 yrs with parole or something. I still dont think this man deserves life in prision. I dont know though tough call.
TylerD45ACP is offline  
Old July 12, 2011, 09:56 PM   #62
Double Naught Spy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2001
Location: Forestburg, Montague County, Texas
Posts: 10,577
Tyler, he isn't in jail for a SD shoot he didn't cause. That event ended when he gave up chase on the suspect outside of the pharmacy. Instead, Ersland is in PRISON for a murder that he did cause. You see, after the self defense situation ended, he came back in his store and committed outright murder, having to go as far as to get a gun out of his locked desk in order to shoot a defenseless and unconscious person who was unarmed.

Yeah, he deserves it.
__________________
"If you look through your scope and see your shoe, aim higher."
-- said to me by my 11 year old daughter before going out for hogs 8/13/2011
Double Naught Spy is offline  
Old July 12, 2011, 10:03 PM   #63
TylerD45ACP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 16, 2010
Posts: 1,654
Your right. I mean what he did is horrible I guess he deserves whats coming to him. I just was thinking of the SD aspect. It really did end once the armed suspect was gone and the guy was down, no need to kill the man. He did walk over calmly like This guy is dead. The more I think about it the more this guy looks like he just felt like popping some one so I agree. I mean as soon as they get in the stoor his gun is out, head shot.
TylerD45ACP is offline  
Old July 12, 2011, 11:59 PM   #64
Catfishman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 10, 2009
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 694
Does anyone have a theory as to why the pharmacist acted so illogically? Why change guns? Why shoot a downed man while on camera? Why move about in such an unusual manner? Drugs maybe? I dunno?

BTW. No way was this premeditated. This guy went from filling scripts to shooting a robber to death in less than a minute. Seeing every horrible detail makes it seem like a long time, but it wasn't.

I expect he got 1st degree murder because the robber was a minor. And that is about the stupidest...

Stop calling the dead robber a kid. Age has nothing to do with it. He was part of an armed robbery.
Catfishman is offline  
Old July 13, 2011, 12:08 AM   #65
MLeake
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2007
Location: Outside KC, MO
Posts: 10,128
Catfishman, I use the term "kid" because calling a 16yo a "man" sounds weird. That said, had he lived, I'd have expected and wanted him to be tried as an adult for armed robbery. I don't use "kid" as a sympathetic expression, but as a short-hand descriptor.

Once again, if Ersland had only fired the first shot, and left it at that, we would not be having this conversation. I don't think a single person in the thread(s) has suggested that Ersland should be in any trouble at all for shot #1. I don't think anybody has said he should be in trouble because of the decedent's age, or because he shot the unarmed one.

Quite frankly, if there had only been the one, unarmed kid, I'd have had no problem with Ersland taking the first shot when he saw the kid pull the mask onto his head. I would also have assumed a robber would bring some sort of weapon.

I am pretty sure that all of us who feel Ersland got what he deserved, feel that way because of his retrieval of the second gun, and firing of shots # 2-6.

There's case history out there that says premeditation doesn't require more than a few seconds' time. Around a minute? Plenty of time for Ersland to realize the threat had ended. And it's obvious he did realize that, or he wouldn't have stepped over and turned his back on the decedent while going to retrieve the second gun.

Was he still full of adrenaline? Sure.

Did the decedent contribute to his own demise? Definitely.

Does that really matter? No.
MLeake is offline  
Old July 13, 2011, 12:20 AM   #66
pax
Staff
 
Join Date: May 16, 2000
Location: Washington state
Posts: 6,983
Quote:
Does anyone have a theory as to why the pharmacist acted so illogically? Why change guns? Why shoot a downed man while on camera?
1 - He acted so illogically because he really-and-truly thought that shooting a robber would make him a hero to everyone. The first interviews he gave after the event (not available online anymore) are very revealing about that.

His mindset was almost certainly the same mindset we see on here a lot: "I live in a pro-gun area, very conservative, so I won't have to worry about a thing if I need to use my gun. And if I need to use it, I will keep shooting until the perpetrator is dead -- no need for those silly euphemisms like 'stopping a threat'! If I shoot at all, I'm going to kill the assailant..."

2 - He changed guns because he'd emptied the revolver.

3 - Almost certainly forgot there was a camera in the first place, but also living a bit of fantasy IMO. I think he really thought he would be praised for killing an unconscious bad guy, since it was a bad guy after all.

Quote:
Why move about in such an unusual manner? Drugs maybe? I dunno?
Three answers.

1) His movements were restrained by a back brace.

2) According to one of his early interviews (might be true, might not), at the time of the incident he had recently had back surgery.

3) As for drugs: he's a pharmacist, and addiction is a common occupational hazard in that profession. I wouldn't jump to conclusions based on that, but I do tend to turn a skeptical eye toward those who act irrationally & tell inconsistent stories about their lives.

To me, the entire incident simply underscores the need to guard your mind! Don't let thoughts creep in about killing the sumbich. Keep your focus on surviving the encounter and going home to your family afterward. Do whatever you need to do in order to survive -- no more, no less, and no other.

pax
__________________
Kathy Jackson
My personal website: Cornered Cat
pax is offline  
Old July 13, 2011, 03:45 AM   #67
Don Glock
Junior member
 
Join Date: September 16, 2010
Posts: 1,141
i saw the video in question. you can't see the robber on the ground because the counter's in the way, and you can only see the pharmacist shooting him. how do we know the robber wasn't still a threat pointing a gun at him while lying on the ground?

i say give the hard working business owner the benefit of the doubt, rather than the scumbag robber.
Don Glock is offline  
Old July 13, 2011, 04:11 AM   #68
geetarman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 2,794
Good response, pax.

Geetarman
geetarman is offline  
Old July 13, 2011, 04:21 AM   #69
Sigasaurus Rex
Member
 
Join Date: July 8, 2011
Location: The Far East
Posts: 34
I agree with you Don, I would give the hard working businessman the benefit of the doubt. Up until the point where his various stories become inconsistent with the known facts of the case. Its easy to give someone the benefit of the doubt, until the lie to you.
__________________
"Is this gonna be a stand-up fight sir? Or just another bug hunt?"
Sigasaurus Rex is offline  
Old July 13, 2011, 05:33 AM   #70
icedog88
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 16, 2011
Location: norwich ct
Posts: 737
I believe the deceased robber wasn't armed, which at the point of the 5 shots being fired is an execution. Don't get me wrong, I am not excusing in any way the perp's actions. I just think that a case like this where a gun (2 really) is used, more and more liberals will try use this against us. Trying not to get too personal, but even in combat, immediately after being shot at from God knows where, by God knows who, adrenaline IS coursing through you. As soon as the firefight is OVER, you HAVE to dial it back no matter how intense it was. So I get the adrenaline argument. What I don't get is defending the position that because the perp was still moving he was a legit threat.
__________________
"The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps"-LtGen. Holland M "Howlin' Mad" Smith, USMC,1949
Have you forgotten yet? Look down and swear by the slain of the War that you'll NEVER forget. [Siegfried Sassoon,"Aftermath,"1919]
icedog88 is offline  
Old July 13, 2011, 05:45 AM   #71
Davey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 2, 2010
Location: Not far enough from Chicago
Posts: 372
Quote:
i saw the video in question. you can't see the robber on the ground because the counter's in the way, and you can only see the pharmacist shooting him. how do we know the robber wasn't still a threat pointing a gun at him while lying on the ground?

i say give the hard working business owner the benefit of the doubt, rather than the scumbag robber.
I saw a video of a press conference with one of the prosecuting attorneys in this case. I think it was the lead DA for the city.

He specifically said that based on the evidence of how the 16 year old was laying on the ground they determined that he was not moving and couldn't have been a threat. Something about "palms up" and other details that I can't remember.
Davey is offline  
Old July 13, 2011, 07:17 AM   #72
ZCORR Jay
Member
 
Join Date: July 23, 2010
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 99
I agree that it was poor judgment to go back and pump 5 more rounds into the kid. Is it nice to hear some scumbag got taken out? Yeah. Could the pharmacist been so angry that he lost control and went back to annihilate this human filth... maybe.

Had the kid not been there to rob the place to begin with no lives would have been ruined. They pharmacist should have also practiced a little better restraint and contacted the authorities while keeping his distance and watchful eye / weapon drawn on the downed robber.
__________________
ZCORR Products
10% Forum Member Discount Code ZCORR-FORUM2013
Free shipping on all domestic & APO/AFO orders over $75
ZCORR Jay is offline  
Old July 13, 2011, 07:40 AM   #73
Double Naught Spy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2001
Location: Forestburg, Montague County, Texas
Posts: 10,577
Quote:
1) His movements were restrained by a back brace.

2) According to one of his early interviews (might be true, might not), at the time of the incident he had recently had back surgery.
Apparently, he did have a back injury of some sort, but it was not a back injury that came as a result of him being in Desert Storm and being injured during a morter attack as he claimed. He wasn't in Desert Storm, but in Oklahoma, managing medical supplies for the war effort. He also claimed to have killed a lot of people during the war and have PTSD from it, but that didn't happen either.

http://newsok.com/oklahoma-city-drug...rticle/3388041

Why the clarification on pax's post? It fits with is whole hero legend she noted, one where he was trying to spin, "War Hero Saves the Day Again!"
__________________
"If you look through your scope and see your shoe, aim higher."
-- said to me by my 11 year old daughter before going out for hogs 8/13/2011
Double Naught Spy is offline  
Old July 13, 2011, 07:47 AM   #74
Double Naught Spy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2001
Location: Forestburg, Montague County, Texas
Posts: 10,577
Quote:
i saw the video in question. you can't see the robber on the ground because the counter's in the way, and you can only see the pharmacist shooting him. how do we know the robber wasn't still a threat pointing a gun at him while lying on the ground?

i say give the hard working business owner the benefit of the doubt, rather than the scumbag robber.
They did, but Ersland lied so blatantly and poorly that they could not overlook anything. As professionals, they could not overlook anything either, especially given that this was a homicide.

We can't see the robber, but we do know that the robber did not have a gun, or that if he did, then Ersland must have stolen it as it was nowhere to be found when the cops arrived. The robber was unarmed. He apparently was the bag man for the robbery and the other robber was the muscle.

Was the robber moving? The coroner says NO. Pooled blood from the head wound and related evidence no doubt also showed that there had been no significant movement, otherwise the defense would have mentioned this attribute.

What you fail to realize is that there were three scumbags involved in that robbery and only 2 were robbers.
__________________
"If you look through your scope and see your shoe, aim higher."
-- said to me by my 11 year old daughter before going out for hogs 8/13/2011
Double Naught Spy is offline  
Old July 13, 2011, 08:05 AM   #75
icedog88
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 16, 2011
Location: norwich ct
Posts: 737
Very well said Double.
__________________
"The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps"-LtGen. Holland M "Howlin' Mad" Smith, USMC,1949
Have you forgotten yet? Look down and swear by the slain of the War that you'll NEVER forget. [Siegfried Sassoon,"Aftermath,"1919]
icedog88 is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:25 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.16162 seconds with 8 queries