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Jury Gives N.D. Student’s Killer Death

September 22, 2006

FARGO, N.D. (AP) _ Jurors sentenced a convicted sex offender to death for killing college student Dru Sjodin.

The verdict was announced late Friday morning. The jury began deliberating Wednesday afternoon and returned for a full day Thursday before reaching a decision Friday.

The same federal jury convicted Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., 53, of Crookston, Minn., on Aug. 30 on a charge of kidnapping resulting in Sjodin’s death.

She disappeared from a Grand Forks shopping mall parking lot on Nov. 22, 2003, and her body was found the following April in a ravine near Crookston. Authorities said she was beaten, raped and stabbed.

North Dakota does not have the death penalty but it is allowed in federal cases. The last state-sanctioned execution in North Dakota was a hanging in 1905, said state Supreme Court Justice Dale Sandstrom, who researched and wrote about the subject.

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