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Inmate Who Killed Corrections Officer In Court

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An inmate who admitted he helped murder a South Dakota Correctional Officer while trying to escape the state prison, was back in court today to discuss the next steps in his case.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says, “The court proceedings in the death of Officer RJ Johnson are continuing to move forward in a responsible fashion."

Rodney Berget, who’s 49 years old, pleaded guilty to 1st degree murder in the death of Ronald Johnson, actions that could potentially warrant the death penalty.

Rather than go before a jury, he has requested to be sentenced by a judge.

Wednesday in court both the prosecution and the defense argued for close to two hours over motions related to the case. Attorneys debated everything from evidence, to different state statute,s and aggravating factors.

Now, the case is set to move forward, and for the Johnson family, it’s one more step toward justice.

Jackley says, “Certainly this has been extremely difficult for their family, it's been a very difficult matter. I will tell you as a prosecutor that they have been supportive in working with us through the various stages of the trials and it's difficult in a sense when you have three defendants."

Berget’s pre-sentencing hearing is scheduled to begin on January 30th.

Eric Robert, another inmate involved in the murder was sentenced late last year to the death penalty.
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