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Hearing In SD Guard Killing Continues Wednesday

February 1, 2012, 5:47 AM

Hearing In SD Guard Killing Continues Wednesday
Rodney Berget

SIOUX FALLS, SD - Defense lawyers for an inmate accused of killing a South Dakota prison guard are expected to begin calling witnesses during the third day of his pre-sentence hearing Wednesday.

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.

Berget has said he wants a judge, not a jury, to decide whether he should live or die for the crime.

His defense lawyers are expected to call three witnesses Wednesday and a fourth witness Thursday.

Zell earlier sentenced 49-year-old Robert to death for his part in the killing.

A third inmate, 47-year-old Michael Nordman, has also been charged in the slaying and is awaiting trial.

KELOLAND News will be at the hearing.  You can listen to the audio live from the courtroom on our Live Coverage page at

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