Appeals attorneys argue improper evidence introduced at Rodriguez trial
Attorneys for the man sentenced to death in the 2003 kidnapping and murder of college student Dru Sjodin are telling an appeals court that improper evidence was used in his trial.
Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., a prior sex offender from Crookston, Minn., is fighting his death sentence.
His attorneys told a panel of three federal judges in St. Paul on Thursday that prosecutors shouldn't have been allowed to present evidence from Rodriguez's earlier convictions during the Sjodin trial.
Attorney Robert Hoy said the government brought in powerfully emotional testimony that wasn't part of those earlier court proceedings, and it shouldn't have been heard by the jury.
U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley argued that the federal judge in the Sjodin case considered carefully before allowing it in the case. Wrigley said both sides got their day in court.