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Rodriguez appeal: Attorneys hold private hearing

FARGO -- Attorneys held a private hearing by phone Monday in the appeal of Alfonso Rodriguez, the man awaiting an execution for murdering Dru Sjodin.

Lynn Jordheim, the first assistant U.S. attorney for North Dakota, declined to say what issues attorneys broached in the hearing, as it was closed to the public.

Federal court documents described the hearing held in the chambers of Judge Ralph Erickson as a status conference.

Since being convicted in 2006, Rodriguez has lost all of his direct appeals. The next step for his is filing a habeas corpus motion.

Based on when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up Rodriguez's appeal last year, the deadline for a habeas corpus filing would be Oct. 18, Jordheim said.

No execution date is set yet for the 58-year-old who raped and killed Sjodin, 22, Pequot Lakes, Minn., after kidnapping her from a mall in Grand Forks in 2003.