Jerome Jay Ersland, whom we've discussed recently, claims that he gave all his guns to his attorney in lieu of payment.
“I gave every weapon of mine to my attorney. I swear to the Lord,” Jerome Jay Ersland said.
Oklahoma County District Judge Tammy Bass-LeSure last week allowed Ersland, 57, of Chickasha to be released on $100,000 bail but she banned him from any access to weapons. The hearing today was to see if he had complied with her order.
Ersland told the judge he no longer owns the weapons. Defense attorney Irven Box said he took the weapons and other personal property from Ersland as payment of part of the attorney fees in the case.
Box told the judge he has accepted other unusual payments in the past, including comic books.
That final remark by Attorney Box is a real beauty. I wonder if the defendant who paid with comic books had been accused of killing someone with a comic book. I don't imagine the "unusual" payment in that case had anything to do with the charges. In the case of pharmacist Ersland the guns have everything to do with the charges. The extent and specifications of his personal arsenal have everything to do with determining what kind of character he is. Of course, in most states determining that wouldn't be all that difficult. He's accused of shooting a non threatening wounded teenager five times in the torso.
I wondered if he had been able to make bail, which was set at $100,000, why was he unable to pay his lawyer except by transferring his guns. The advantages are obvious. He now cannot be forced to answer how many and what types they were. He wouldn't be able to surrender them to the court, should that be ordered.
If I had to guess, this is a murderer, aided by his lawyer and the general attitudes in Oklahoma, trying to beat the system.
What's your opinion? Is it normal for a 1st degree murder suspect to be released on just $100,000 bail? Do you think the fact that the dead kid had tried to rob the pharmacy should make a difference?
Please feel free to leave a comment.