SD Supreme Court rehears death sentence appeal
PIERRE (AP) — South Dakota Supreme Court justices hear arguments again Tuesday on a second appeal in the case of a man who helped kill a guard at the state penitentiary.
Rodney Berget was sentenced to death for the 2011 killing of Ron Johnson during a failed escape attempt. Berget was serving two life sentences for attempted murder and rape.
The state Supreme Court overturned his initial death sentence because of an error by the judge in the case. But Berget was sentenced again to death last year and now argues that the lower court judge should have taken additional evidence at the second sentencing.
Two other inmates were involved in Johnson's death. Michael Nordman was sentenced to life in prison, and Eric Robert was executed in 2012.