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Monday, August 21, 2006

CrimProf Peter Erlinder: No Definition of When Kidnapping Transportation Begins

ErlinderpeterFrom Grand Forks Herald.com: William Mitchell College of Law CrimProf Peter Erlinder in St. Paul, told The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead last week that he did not know of a "well-accepted definition," in the law of when kidnapping transportation begins, and that the judge will have to decide what the phrase means and instruct the jury on it.

The question of defining when kidnapping transpotation begins has arsoe due to the Alfonso Rodriguez case inFargo, Minnesota. Where and when victim Dru Sjodin died, not who killed her, appear to be the questions most at issue after four days of the trial of Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. in federal court. Rodriguez, 53, pleaded not guilty to the federal charge of kidnapping resulting in Sjodin's death. If convicted, the Crookston man who has spent half his life behind bars for violent sexual kidnapping offenses against women could be sentenced to death by the same jury hearing the case.

Last Monday, defense attorney Robert Hoy told the jury in his 15-minute opening statement that "you could very well find at the end of this case that Alfonso Rodriguez is responsible for the death of Dru Sjodin and the transportation of her body from Grand Forks to Crookston, just as the prosecution alleges, and at the same time find him not guilty of this federal kidnapping charge ..."

Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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