- Associated Press - Monday, March 28, 2016

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Federal prosecutors in the death penalty appeal of a man who killed a University of North Dakota student in 2003 say a request by defense attorneys to withdraw from the case could be seen as a “disguised delay tactic.”

Alfonso Rodriguez Jr’s lawyers say a new defense team is needed because of staffing and personnel changes in the federal system and the Minnesota federal public defender’s office.

Prosecutor Keith Reisenauer says in his response that he is opposed to the change. He says granting the defense motion will likely postpone proceedings for at least a year or more. The final appeal was filed more than five years ago.

Rodriguez, of Crookston, Minnesota, sits on death row in Terre Haute, Indiana, for killing Dru Sjodin (shuh-DEEN’), of Pequot Lakes, Minnesota.

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