Trials & Litigation

Inmate Seeking Execution Says He Wants to Kill Again; Judge Mulls Aggravation Arguments

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Updated: Accused of beating a 63-year-old South Dakota prison guard to death in a failed escape attempt in April, Eric Robert pleaded guilty and said he wants to be executed.

And a judge agreed that death was the only appropriate punishment, reports the Argus Leader.

He’s ready to kill again, Robert, 49, said in a sentencing hearing, telling Minnehaha County Judge Bradley Zell at one point, “Brad Zell, if you stood between me and the door of freedom, I would kill you,” reported the Associated Press.

But a desire to die isn’t enough, Zell told Robert; at least one aggravating factor had to be shown.

The prosecution has provided several potential options for the judge to consider in that regard, including Robert’s criminal history and the fact that he murdered a corrections officer.

And, at Robert’s request, his own public defender is piling on in the effort to win a death sentence. reports the Argus Leader.

“The defense will talk about Mr. Robert’s history based on the reality of his actions, not fantasy stories to shock and awe the court,” said his public defender, Mark Kadi, in an opening statement on Monday. “The truth of his past is despicable enough on its own merits.”

Another Argus Leader article provides additional details.

Updated on Oct. 28 to include sentence information from subsequent Argus Leader article.

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