She was murdered almost 10 years ago, kidnapped from Columbia Mall in Grand Forks, her body recovered the following spring near Crookston.
Now the man convicted of killing 22 year old Dru Sjodin, Alphonso Rodriguez Jr., is back in court awaiting the outcome of the final step in the appeals process, even as he awaits capital punishment on death row in Terre Haute, Indiana.
The case continues to be heard by US District Judge and Thief River Falls Native, Ralph Erickson, who this week told prosecutors he was puzzled by the reluctance of the Defense Team to turn over notes from doctors who recently interviewed Rodriguez as part of the appeals process, now being argued as a habeas corpus motion, considered the ultimate end of the appeals process.
Defense Attorneys claim Rodriguez was insane, suffering post traumatic stress disorder from childhood sexual abuse and was not mentally able to under stand his own wrong-doing when he raped, beat and stabbed Sjodin and left her body in a ravine in Polk County.
Judge Erickson Thursday took the motion under advisement ..
At the time of Sjodin’s death, Rodriguez was a convicted felony who had previously served time for Sexual Assault. The case led to the creation of “Dru’s Law”, which set up the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Registry, signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2 thousand 6.by ndmuscle
The case continues to build against former Red Lake Falls Mayor and City Administrator, Allen Ducharme, even as he waits to make his first appearance on charges next month.
Red Lake County Sheriff, Mitch Bernstein, says their investigation has resulted in a total of three complaints filed by the Red Lake County Attorney’s Office, and Sheriff Bernstein said Tuesday he expects two more complaints to be signedFriday.
The latest accusations allege $350 lost in misuse of the city checking account and petty cash – Felony Theft of Public Funds – and 180 unauthorized transactions using the city debit card – Misconduct of a Public Officer, a Gross Misdemeanor.
Earlier this month Ducharme, who now lives in Crookston, was accused of Felony Theft and misconduct for allegedly using a city debit card to make more than 2 thousand dollars in unauthorized purchases for the Lafayette High School Post Prom Party.
Ducharme has been summoned to appear June 10th in Red Lake County District Court in Red Lake Falls. He has not yet had a chance to enter a plea in the case.by ndmuscle
This is his city now, and he’d like to try things his way …
At the request of City Administrator Larry Kruse – and in an astounding change of policy – the Thief River Falls City Council this week reinstated Summer Hours for City Workers.
2 conditions were applied – that customer service will continue to be maintained and that allowing half-day or optional Fridays comes at no increased city expense.
The previous administration of Mayor Steve Nordhagen was marked by labor tension, doing away with Summer Hours and spending thousands fighting a contentious dispute over Flex Time, but Tuesday night Kruse – who has served 4 other communities in City Management – said he’s had many years of success with summer hours, saying the extended weekend improves employee morale and productivity at no additional cost to the city.
Summer Hours refers to the practice of using longer day-light hours to get the job done, working 4 nine hour days with a half day Friday. Not all Departments will be affected. Utility Supervisor Dale Narlock, already short staffed, was askedTuesday if the option would work for his department and responded, “We’ll see.”
But, you can see it all for yourself. A web broadcast of Tuesday’s Council Meeting is available on line at citytrf.net.by ndmuscle