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February 06, 2012 05:29 AM

Judge Expected To Rule In SD Prison Guard Killing

SIOUX FALLS, SD


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.


Forty-nine-year-old Rodney Berget pleaded guilty to killing 63-year-old Ronald Johnson 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.

KELOLAND News will be at the hearing.  You can listen to the audio of Judge Zell's verdict live on our Live Coverage Page of KELOLAND.com.  He's expected to share his decision at 10 a.m. 
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