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Appeals court denies Rodriguez request

A federal appeals court denied a rehearing for a Minnesota man sentenced to death for killing a University of North Dakota student.

Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. of Crookston, Minn., a convicted sex offender, was found guilty in 2006 of killing 22-year-old Dru Sjodin of Pequot Lakes, Minn. She was attending UND when she was abducted from the Columbia Mall parking lot in Grand Forks.

After a 12-week trial, a 12-member jury found Rodriguez guilty in the murder and sexual assault of Sjodin, and sentenced him to death.

A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in September affirmed the death sentence against Rodriguez.

Rodriguez, now 56, asked for a new hearing in front of the entire circuit court, which was denied in an order released Thursday.

He is an inmate at a high-security federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., where he remains on federal death row.