Judge tosses death sentence in slaying of N. Dakota student
FARGO, N.D. (AP) - A federal judge has thrown out the death sentence for a man convicted in the 2003 slaying of a North Dakota college student.
Judge Ralph Erickson ruled Friday that misleading testimony from a medical examiner and limitations on mental health evidence violated Alfonso Rodriguez Jr.’s constitutional rights. He ordered a new sentencing phase be conducted.
Rodriguez has been on death row for nearly two decades. He was convicted of killing Dru Sjodin, a Minnesota woman who was abducted from a Grand Forks mall parking lot in November 2003.
Rodriguez, a sex offender, was arrested the following month.
Sjodin’s body wasn’t found until the following April near Crookston, Minnesota.
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