Defense Calls Witness In SD Officer Killing
by Associated Press
February 01, 2012 9:47 AM
A defense witness for a man accused of killing a South Dakota prison guard during a failed escape attempt says the defendant was devastated by his brother's execution in Oklahoma in 2000.
Forty-nine-year-old Rodney Berget has pleaded guilty to killing Ronald Johnson on April 12 - Johnson's 63rd birthday - during a failed prison escape with fellow inmate Eric Robert at the South Dakota State Penitentiary.
A judge is weighing whether Berget should be sentenced to death for the crime.
Mary Baker, a paralegal for the Minnehaha County Public Defender's Office, testified that that the execution of Berget's brother, Roger, was a sad point in Rodney Berget's life. Thirty-nine-year-old Roger Berget was sentenced to die by lethal injection after pleading guilty to killing an Oklahoma man.