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Man who murdered Dru Sjodin may get new lawyers

FARGO, N.D. -- 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 ...

FARGO, N.D. - 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.
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.
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.

Related Topics: CRIME
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