Execution day for Eric Robert - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Execution day for Eric Robert

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Eric Robert is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection at 10:00 Monday night.

Monday's execution stems back to the actions of Eric Robert and Rodney Berget back in April of 2011. It was during a failed prison escape attempt when Robert and Berget killed Senior Corrections Officer Ronald "RJ" Johnson. Robert was serving an 80-year sentence on a kidnapping conviction when he and inmate Rodney Berget attempted to escape the prison. The state upheld Robert's death sentence in August and now he is scheduled to die by lethal injection.

Eric Robert has been moved to a holding cell. It's about the size of a doctor's office with enough room for a toilet, sink, and a cot. He will be there until he is taken to the execution chamber Monday night. When the time comes for the execution, there will only be two other people in the chamber with Robert, the warden and another prison staff member. Their jobs are to keep an eye on the atomic clocks, and take notes of the process. Behind a one-way mirror will be the chemical room where the lethal drugs will be administered to Robert.

Robert ate his last meal of ice cream Saturday night. Since then Robert has been fasting for 40 hours prior to the execution because of religious purposes. His lawyer, Mark Kadi ate ice cream with him. Robert was sentenced to death by lethal injection and that sentence will be carried out at 10:00 Monday night. Robert's lawyer says his client is calm and reflective. He also says the 50-year-old is reflecting on the situation and "trying to make peace with himself and God."

Several groups opposed to the death penalty plan to hold a vigil outside the South Dakota State Penitentiary before and during the execution. The South Dakota Peace and Justice Center, and South Dakotans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty say they plan to gather outside the prison starting at 8:00 Monday night. The group says they will gather around the penitentiary flagpole. They are also planning vigils in other cities across the state including Rapid City, Pierre and Vermillion.

You can expect live team coverage of tonight's execution on KSFY at 5:00, 6:00, and 10:00.

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