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U.S. Attorney says he expects appeal from Rodriguez soon

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GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) -- U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley says he expects to get an appeal brief from attorneys for Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., in the next couple of weeks.

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Rodriguez, 54, of Crookston, Minn., was convicted by a federal court jury in Fargo and sentenced to death last year for the 2003 kidnapping and killing of University of North Dakota student Dru Sjodin.

Rodriguez's attorneys have until Nov. 8 to file an appeal with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Wrigley said.

"After that, the court will give us an appointed amount of time to respond," Wrigley said. "I expect December will be when we respond by, and then they'll set it up for oral arguments."

He does not expect those arguments to be scheduled until spring at the earliest.

Wrigley says he has not heard much about Rodriguez since he was moved to a federal prison in Indiana.

"He's, as I understand, in his cell 23 hours a day," Wrigley said. "One hour a day they get for recreation."

Death row inmates are not allowed time with other inmates, Wrigley said. "He's completely segregated at all times," the prosecutor said of Rodriguez.

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Pioneer staff reports
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