ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Man who murdered Dru Sjodin may get new lawyers

FARGO -- Different lawyers may represent a man who is on death row for the murder of a University of North Dakota student. Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. was sentenced to death for kidnapping, raping and murdering 22-year-old Dru Sjodin more than 12 years...

FARGO -- Different lawyers may represent a man who is on death row for the murder of a University of North Dakota student.

Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. was sentenced to death for kidnapping, raping and murdering 22-year-old Dru Sjodin more than 12 years ago.

In his lengthy appeal, Rodriguez has been represented by court-appointed attorneys Michael Wiseman and Joseph Margulies.

But Wiseman and Margulies asked Monday to be replaced by the Federal Community Defender Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Part of the reason for the switch is due to staffing changes in the federal defender system, according to court documents.

ADVERTISEMENT

But it'd also be a practical switch because FCDO, with its "extensive experience and substantial expertise in federal capital post-conviction proceedings," wouldn't seek payment from the court for attorney hours, travel and other expenses, according to court documents.

Court records didn't indicate as of Thursday afternoon if a decision has been made about whether the replacement can happen.

Rodriguez's next evidentiary hearings are still months away in November of this year and January of next.

Rodriguez was found guilty in 2006 after Sjodin disappeared from a Grand Forks shopping mall parking lot in November 2003. Her body was discovered the following spring in a ravine near Rodriguez's home in Crookston.

Rodriguez, a convicted sex offender, was arrested in early December 2003 for the crime.

The Investigation Discovery channel is airing a one-hour episode about Dru Sjodin's disappearance on its show "See No Evil" at 9 p.m. Tuesday.

What To Read Next
DICKINSON - For the first time in more than a decade, The Dickinson Police Department has a new leader in its ranks, as Joe Cianni was named the city's new police chief following a unanimous vote by the city commissioners on Tuesday.
Local Non-Profit organizations set to receive critical financial support for programs and services
“Why would we create new major programs, when we can’t even fund the programs that we have?” a public education lobbyist said in opposition to Noem's three-year, $15 million proposal.
An investigation found that students used racial slurs and actions toward minority basketball players from Bismarck High School.