High court hears second appeal in Berget death sentence case - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

High court hears second appeal in Berget death sentence case

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PIERRE -- The attorney for a man sentenced to death for killing prison guard Ronald Johnson during a 2011 escape attempt argued to the South Dakota Supreme Court Tuesday that a lower court should have allowed new evidence before Rodney Berget was resentenced.

Jeff Larson told the justices that details of Berget's new relationship with his son should be considered as a testament to his character.

Assistant Attorney General Paul Swedlund says Berget could have established a relationship with his son sooner. He says Berget's attorney missed his opportunity to present additional evidence.

The high court overturned Berget's initial death sentence because of an error by the judge, but Berget was sentenced again to death last year.

Another inmate charged in the guard's death, Eric Robert, was executed in 2012.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

5/27/2014 2:31:14 PM (GMT -5:00)

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