Forum staff reports, Published October 26 2012
Defense records sought in Sjodin murder caseFARGO – Federal prosecutors in the case against a man sentenced to die for raping and killing a University of North Dakota student in 2005 have asked for access to previously confidential documents in order to better combat his claims that his defense counsel was ineffective.
Federal prosecutors claim in a motion filed Monday that when Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. attacked the effectiveness of his defense in his appeals, he waived his attorney-client privilege, making information about his mental health, some of it sealed, available to the prosecution.
Rodriguez was convicted in 2005 of raping and killing UND student Dru Sjodin. He was sentenced to death the following year.
In an appeal seeking a new trial or sentencing, he claims his defense counsel should have argued that he is mentally retarded.