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Forum staff reports, Published January 13 2009

Oral arguments set in Rodriguez appeal

Lawyers will present oral arguments Feb. 12 before federal appeals judges in the case of Alfonso Rodriguez, Jr., who faces the death sentence for abducting and murdering Dru Sjodin.

Defense lawyers are seeking to overturn Rodriguez’s 2006 conviction in U.S. District Court in Fargo. A jury convicted Rodriguez of Sjodin’s 2003 murder. She was kidnapped outside a shopping mall in Grand Forks, N.D.

Her body was found in April 2004 in a roadside ditch near Crookston, Minn., where Rodriguez, a convicted sex offender, lived.

The arguments will be before a panel of judges with the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in St. Paul.