Thursday, February 08, 2007

A judge has formally sentenced Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. to death for the killing of college student Dru Sjodin


Alfonso Rodriguez Jr.

In handing down the sentence, U-S District Judge Ralph Erickson called today "the most difficult day" of his life. He rejected a motion for a new trial.

Rodriguez, of Crookston, Minnesota, was convicted by a jury last fall of kidnapping resulting in the death of Sjodin, a 22-year-old University of North Dakota student from Pequot Lakes, Minnesota. The same jury voted unanimously for the death penalty.

More than a dozen of Sjodin's friends and relatives lined up to give victim impact statements as the hearing opened this morning in Fargo.

Rodriguez's attorney, Richard Ney, objected to testimony from people outside Sjodin's immediate family. But the judge allowed them to speak.

Lawyers for Rodriguez argued that he deserved a new trial because of misconduct by prosecutors and mistakes by the judge. Prosecutors said the case was handled fairly.

Student's killer gets death sentence

Dru Sjodin's mother regrets she didn't warn her daughter of 'monsters that look like humans'


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