KOCO-TV (Oklahoma City), August 20, 2010
For the first time in a year, the mother of 16-year-old Antwun Parker, who was shot and killed by pharmacist Jerome Ersland, is speaking publicly.
According to police, Parker and a friend tried to rob the pharmacist at gunpoint in May 2009. Investigators said Ersland knocked Parker to the ground with one shot to the head, grabbed a different weapon and fired five more shots into his chest and abdomen.
“A coward is someone who will kill someone when they’re done,” said Parker’s mother, Cleta Jennings. “That’s not a hero. The real hero here is Antwun.”
Jennings said that while her son did go into the pharmacy with a gun, she believes other people put him up to it.
“I know he was scared to death,” she said. “I know Antwun was scared to death when he had to go into that pharmacy not under his own will.”
In an exclusive interview with KOCO, Jennings said she was angry when she found out two pathologists with the Oklahoma County Medical Examiner’s Office filed conflicting statements, which call the former chief’s ruling into question. That ruling could affect the District Attorney’s decision to prosecute.
Jennings said her son will never have a chance to prove his innocence.
“He still should have had a chance to go to court and defend himself,” she said. “He’s just like everybody else, innocent until proven guilty.”
“He was not a masked robber. His name was Antwun Parker. He was a human.”
She said she may file a civil lawsuit against Ersland if she’s not happy with the course of action in the criminal case.