The murderer of the University of North Dakota student, Dru Sjodin, was sentenced to death. It became North Dakota’s first death penalty case in over a century. Alfonso Rodriguez Jr, received the sentence that he deserved. He will no longer be able to walk among us and harm innocent people.
Rodriguez, who got out of prison about six months before the killing, was charged under federal law because Sjodin was taken across state lines.
U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley, in his statements to jurors, said the death penalty would be the “right thing, in the right case.” He stood near her portrait and asked for justice. Fox News)
Alfonso Rodriguez Jr.was found guilty by a Federal Court jury in the kidnapping that resulted
in the death of Dru Sjodin. One by one juries across America are taking charge and putting an end to these monstrous predators. Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., was a previously convicted and considered a Level 3 sex offender
. It is too bad he had not been dealt with sooner. The verdict allows now for the sentencing phase in which the first death penalty case in a century will be heard in North Dakota.
Rodriguez, 53, of Crookston, Minn., was charged in the disappearance and death of Sjodin, 22, a University of North Dakota student from Pequot Lakes, Minn. Her body was found in a ravine near Crookston in April 2005, five months after she disappeared from a Grand Forks mall parking lot.
Authorities said she was stabbed, raped and left to die.
Sex offender guilty of kidnapping, murdering student (CNN)
A federal jury found a convicted sex offender guilty Wednesday in the kidnapping and murder of college student Dru Sjodin, whose body was found abandoned in Minnesota a ravine.
The verdict clears the way for the first death penalty deliberations in North Dakota in more than a century.
Jurors deliberated for less than four hours, then found Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., 53, guilty of charges he kidnapped Sjodin, stabbed her, raped her and dumped her body in a ravine.
God Bless Dru Sjodin’s mother, Linda Walker, and father, Allan Sjodin for all that they have been through. Your daughter put up a valiant fight against her attacker and because of that Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. will never see freedom and hopefully he will be put to death.
But Wrigley told jurors that blood found in Rodriguez’s car matched Sjodin’s DNA. He said it was found in a mist pattern, indicating Sjodin fought her attacker and was beaten.
“Ladies and gentlemen, Dru Sjodin battled him every step of the way, and she left us unmistakable messages,” Wrigley said.
It is unfortunate that Rodriguez was not taken off the streets permanently before he escalated his predatorial violence to murder. Hopefully now he will be properly sentenced to death so that no more people have to be affected by his actions.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said in a statement: “If ever there was a case for which the death penalty should apply, this is it.”
Before Sjodin’s slaying, Rodriguez had served more than 20 years for offenses that included rape and attempted kidnapping. He got out of prison about six months before the killing.