The chief federal prosecutor in North Dakota says, per a directive from U-S Attorney General Merrick Garland, his office will no longer seek the death penalty for Alfonso Rodriguez Junior in the 2003 kidnapping and murder of University of North Dakota student and Minnesota native Dru Sjodin. U-S Attorney for North Dakota Mac Schneider:
“Were recently notified to straightforwardly withdraw the notice of intent to seek a penalty of death and, in accordance with the attorney general’s directive, we have done so.”
Schneider says his thoughts and prayers are with Sjodin’s family, especially her parents, and “what will not change is that Mr. Rodriguez will draw his last breath in federal prison.” Schneider says he drove to the home of Sjodin’s mother in central Minnesota to tell her of the decision. Rodriguez was on death row at a federal facility in Indiana.