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Oklahoma pharmacist's murder trial can be televised, judge rules

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An Oklahoma County judge will allow television stations to broadcast the murder trial of a pharmacist charged with killing a…

An Oklahoma County judge will allow television stations to broadcast the murder trial of a pharmacist charged with killing a teenager who was allegedly attempting to rob his store.

District Judge Tammy Bass-LeSure decided to allow cameras in her courtroom for the trial of Jerome Ersland, 58, an Oklahoma City pharmacist, the Associated Press reported.

Local media outlets argued before the court that the proceeding should be open because it generated much public interest. Ersland’s attorneys contend the shooting was justified, but state prosecutors say the 16-year-old boy was lying on the floor unarmed and unconscious.

In Oklahoma, the decision about whether to allow cameras first rests with the judge, according to the statewide press advocacy group FOI Oklahoma.

Neither the state nor Ersland objected to the open trial. Oklahoma and Alabama are the only states that require the defendant’s consent to televise trials, Joey Senat, a professor at the Oklahoma State University School of Journalism, wrote earlier this year.