Death row convict's appeal unveils Dru Sjodin murder details - KMSP-TV

Death row convict's appeal unveils details of Dru Sjodin murder

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A decade ago, the story of Dru Sjodin's kidnapping and killing gripped the hearts and minds of Minnesotans -- but on Wednesday, prosecutors made a 400-page filing in what may be her murderer's final appeal.

Alfonso Rodriguez has been on death row for 6 years, but new details are coming out now that prosecutors have filed dozens of pages of documents that reveal how Sjodin died -- and that Rodriguez didn't kill her by accident as his previous attorneys had claimed in earlier appeals.

Ever since a judge sentence Rodriguez to the death penalty for kidnapping and killing Sjodin in 2003, his attorneys have argued that he shouldn't be put to death because he is intellectually disabled; however, prosecutors dispute that.

Two new doctors interviewed Rodriguez over the summer, and prosecutors say both found Rodriguez was mentally competent when he killed the 23-year-old University of North Dakota student.

Furthermore, prosecutors claim Rodriguez admitted to following Sjodin at the Columbia Mall in Grand Forks, N.D., in November. The documents filed Wednesday explain that Rodriguez grabbed her at knifepoint in her car in the parking lot when she was at her most vulnerable and promised to return her to the place where he had abducted her.

The documents go on to say that Rodriguez also admitted to killing Sjodin after she became hysterical in the car, explaining that he grabbed her airway while trying to calm her down. He then took back roads to dump her body so he wouldn't run into police and even placed a bag over her head because he didn't want her blood to get on him or the back seat.

In the end, prosecutors say Rodriguez's own rendition of the event illustrate that he used reason and planning to attack and kill Sjodin and dispose of her body so that he wouldn't get caught.

According to prosecutors, Rodriguez has an average IQ. When they went back through his work history and job reviews through 1975, supervisors described him as someone who would be a good man to have aboard a team.

The 417-page brief concludes by asking the judge to deny Rodriguez's appeal.

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