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October 14, 2011 11:07 AM

Robert In Court For Motions Hearing

sioux falls, sd


The man who admitted to killing a South Dakota correctional officer was back in court Friday morning.


Eric Robert took part in a pre-sentencing motions hearing and our camera was inside to capture it all.

Robert pleaded guilty last month to killing correctional officer Ron Johnson earlier this year. He now faces a week-long sentencing hearing to decide if he gets life in prison or the death penalty.

The judge was considering motions ahead of Robert's sentencing hearing, which is scheduled to begin October 24. One issue the judge was asked to rule on concerned expanded media coverage of the hearing. The state asked that autopsy photos and pictures of Johnson's family not be included in the expanded coverage. The defense and judge agreed to that request.

We also learned that Robert does not want to present evidence during the hearing to prove that he should not get the death penalty. The burden of proving that Robert should die for his crime is up to Attorney General Marty Jackley to prove. Jackley must present evidence to show that the crime was so severe Robert should be put to death.

But Robert's attorney advised Friday that the inmate does not want to present evidence to counter Jackley's presentation.

Cases against the other two inmates are moving forward. Rodney Berget also tried to escape with Robert and will have a jury trial. Michael Joseph Nordman was just named last month as the man who officials say provided the murder weapon.
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