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OKC man convicted of high profile murder getting new trial


OKLAHOMA CITY — A convicted killer is getting a second chance at freedom. One of two men accused of one of the metro’s highest profile murders found himself back in court.

Emanuel Mitchell is accused of planning a robbery at the Reliable Pharmacy that ended when pharmacist Jerome Ersland shot and killed one of the teenage robbers.

In 2011 a jury convicted Mitchell of murder. Two months ago the court of appeals overturned Mitchell’s murder conviction.

Following his murder conviction, Mitchell caused a chaotic scene by sucker punching district attorney David Prater in the face.

A much calmer Mitchell came before Judge Kenneth Watson on Friday believing he will be vindicated.

“I’m just happy to be back. I’m blessed and waiting for justice to show itself,” said Mitchell.

Prosecutors believe Mitchell drove the getaway car in the botched robbery, but during trial Mitchell claimed he wanted a new attorney. Judge Watson denied that request.

That led to a new trial being granted by the court of appeals.

“You think you deserve a new trial?” I asked Mitchell.

“Yes sir.  Everything was done illegal. The courts agreed with it,” said Mitchell.

Mitchell told the judge this time he will represent himself, although an attorney has been put on standby to step in if needed.

“I would say if you’re facing a significant prison sentence, it’s extremely foolish to ever represent yourself,” said attorney Jacqui Ford.

Attorney Ford offered Mitchell some free legal advice.

“I would certainly encourage Mr. Mitchell to take counsel,” said Ford.

“Are you going to represent yourself?” I asked Mitchell.

“Yes sir, with standby counsel, and anyone else that can help me.  They can contact me at the Oklahoma County jail,” said Mitchell.

The district attorney also hopes Mitchell changes his mind and doesn’t represent himself. The DA said that could lead to a circus atmosphere at trial.

A new trial could happen sometime next year.

The appeals court denied the appeals of Mitchell’s co-defendant and alleged robbery mastermind Anthony Morrison, as well as Jerome Ersland.