SD AG requests new sentencing hearing for Berget - KOTA Territory News

SD AG requests new sentencing hearing for Berget

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PIERRE, S.D. (AP) _ South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley has asked the 2nd Judicial Circuit to schedule a resentencing hearing for a man who helped kill a guard at the State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls.

The state Supreme Court this week overturned Rodney Berget's death sentence and ordered a new sentencing hearing. Justices said the circuit judge who sentenced Berget to die improperly considered a statement Berget made to a psychiatrist. 

Jackley has filed a motion asking the circuit court to schedule a new sentencing hearing ``at the earliest time convenient for the court and counsel.''

The 50-year-old Berget and another inmate, Eric Robert, pleaded guilty to killing guard Ronald Johnson during a failed escape attempt in April 2011. Robert was executed last October. Berget appealed his death sentence.

(Original story)

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) _ The South Dakota Supreme Court has overturned a state prison inmate's death sentence for the killing of a prison guard nearly two years ago.       

Justices say Rodney Berget must get a new sentencing hearing because the circuit judge who sentenced him to die improperly considered statements Berget made to a psychiatrist.       

Berget and another inmate, Eric Robert, pleaded guilty to killing prison guard Ronald Johnson during a failed escape attempt in April 2011 at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls. Robert was executed by lethal injection last October. Berget appealed his death sentence.       

A third inmate, Michael Nordman, was given a life sentence for providing materials used in the slaying.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press

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