Judge expected to rule in SD prison guard killing - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Judge expected to rule in SD prison guard killing


A judge is expected to decide Monday morning whether an inmate who admitted he killed a South Dakota prison guard should be put to death for the crime.  Rodney Berget, 49, pleaded guilty to killing Ronald Johnson, 63, during a failed prison escape April 12.  On Thursday, Berget told Judge Bradley Zell that he believes he should be sentenced to death for the slaying.  Johnson had been called in to work on his birthday the day he died.  Zell already sentenced Berget's confessed cohort and fellow inmate Eric Robert to death.  The men beat Johnson and wrapped plastic around his head, then stole his uniform in hopes of slipping past other guards.  Both Berget and Robert chose to let the judge decide if they should receive the death penalty.

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