Judge: Court needs more time, evidence in death penalty case
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota judge says the court needs more time and evidence before deciding whether convicted prison guard killer Rodney Berget is mentally disabled, which would bar his execution.
The Argus Leader reports that attorneys made arguments Monday about Berget’s mental capabilities and rights. Judge Doug Hoffman set another hearing for late January.
Berget and another inmate, Eric Robert, were convicted of killing guard Ronald Johnson in 2011. Robert was executed in 2012.
The state says that Berget doesn’t have an intellectual disability. Berget had appealed his death penalty verdict but later withdrew it, clearing the way for his execution.
Berget’s attorney, Eric Schulte, disagreed and told a judge last year that he wanted to evaluate Berget’s mental capacity to determine if he was eligible for the death penalty.
Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com