sioux falls, sd
A lawyer for a South Dakota man sentenced to death for killing a prison guard says the state Supreme Court should overturn the ruling because his client was not given a fair trial in the penalty phase of the case.
Lawyer Jeff Larson argued before the South Dakota Supreme Court on Monday that the sentencing hearing for 50-year-old Rodney Berget was skewed because it came after Judge Brad Zell had already sentenced another inmate to death in the case.
Berget and 50-year-old Eric Robert had pleaded guilty in the April 2011 killing of prison guard Ronald Johnson during a botched prison escape.
Attorney General Marty Jackley argued that Berget repeatedly waived his right to a jury trial.
The court will make its decision at a later date.
Click on the play button below to watch the hearing.