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DRU SJODIN CASE: Knife found in trunk Source: Blood in Rodriguez's car matches Sjodin's DNA
Miami Herald ^ | 12-9-2003 | Stephen J. Lee

Posted on 12/09/2003 8:24:26 AM PST by Hillary's Lovely Legs

A knife in a pool of liquid household cleaner was found in the spare tire well of Alfonso Rodriguez Jr.'s maroon 2002 Mercury Sable sedan, according to a source close to the investigation.

Investigators could tell that the interior of the car and the trunk obviously had been recently and extensively cleaned, the source told the Herald.

But bloodstains found in the car have been matched with Sjodin's DNA, the source said. Other news reports also cite sources for the DNA match of blood samples in the car to Sjodin.

Grand Forks State's Attorney Peter Welte has said that he has evidence that Rodriguez used the car to abduct Dru Sjodin from the JC Penney parking lot at Columbia Mall on Nov. 22. But he declined to say what the evidence is.

The Associated Press reported that its source said a knife sheath was found near Sjodin's car, which was in the JC Penney lot.

Rodriguez bought the car in June from a Grand Forks dealership, said the salesman.

Rodriguez, 50, was arrested Dec. 1 -- several days after his car was searched and impounded -- and charged in Sjodin's abduction. He had been out of prison only seven months after serving 23 years for stabbing a Crookston woman in 1980 while trying to abduct her. The woman fought him off; she recovered from stab wounds to her abdomen and arm.

In 1974, Rodriguez was convicted of two separate incidents in which he sexually assaulted women after kidnapping or trying to kidnap them. In at least one of the cases, he used a knife.

After returning to Crookston in May to live with his mother, Rodriguez has been registered as a Level 3 sex offender, the most risky and predatory of three categories in Minnesota.

Rodriguez appeared in Grand Forks District Court last week on the charge of kidnapping Sjodin and remains in jail under $5 million bond. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 4.

Rodriguez drove his car to work Monday, Nov. 24, at a construction site in McIntosh, Minn., about 30 miles east of Crookston, said those who worked with him hanging drywall. Investigators searched the car at the job site a day or two before Thanksgiving and impounded it soon after the search, sources familiar with the investigation told the Herald.

Search moves north

Meanwhile, evidence used to gain an arrest warrant against Rodriguez, which has been sealed in a court file since he was arrested Dec. 1, likely will be made public today. Welte, the prosecutor, initially asked a judge to seal the evidence to protect the investigation and Sjodin's family. But after several news media companies, including the Herald, filed motions demanding the affidavit of probable cause be unsealed, Welte said he would not oppose making the document public.

David Dusek, Rodriguez's court-appointed attorney, said he would decide today if he would object to the unsealing of the affidavit.

District Judge Lawrence Jahnke, assigned to the case, said Monday that he has no plans to hold a formal hearing on the issue. He indicated his decision would be made in the form of a court order shortly after noon today.

"No one has requested a hearing," Jahnke said. "We are not going to have a hearing."

He merely must wait until Dusek files some documents this morning, Jahnke said.

Dusek said his client doesn't want to talk to law enforcement anymore and has denied any involvement in Sjodin's disappearance.

Rodriguez's sister, Illeana Noyes of rural Crookston, said she spoke to Dusek for about an hour Monday but declined to comment on what was said.

Meanwhile, about 20 family members and close friends of Sjodin searched 26 square miles near Alvarado, Minn., about 20 miles north of East Grand Forks. The search included abandoned buildings, culverts, bridges and "other remote areas," said Bob Heales, the Denver private investigator who has donated his expertise for the past two weeks to help lead the family's separate search effort. Heales also has a home in Crosslake, Minn., the hometown of Chris Lang, Sjodin's boyfriend. Crosslake is next to Pequot Lakes, Sjodin's hometown.

"We didn't really turn up much of anything of interest," Heales said of Monday's search. It was based on a tip left on a Web site, based on its proximity to routes Rodriguez could have traveled, Heales said.

The group plans to search in the same general area today, he said.

The law enforcement search, meanwhile, will continue but in a limited fashion, following only specific leads, said Capt. Mike Kirby of the Grand Forks Police Department. He said the focus will be on "construction sites and industrial sites" and asked property owners to search their land.

No more large-scale volunteer-aided ground sweeps are planned now, Kirby he said.

Large portions of Grand Forks County, which has 1,400 square miles, and Polk County, which has 2,000 square miles, have been searched, but the entire region can't be searched by foot, Kirby said.

Temperatures falling well below freezing in recent days have made large efforts using untrained volunteer searchers more dangerous, Kirby said. But if one is needed, another will be mounted, he said.

Monday, the U.S. Border Patrol briefed law enforcement officers on the extent of the search so far, using computer-generated maps of the area, Kirby said. That helped focus future searching, he said.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the FBI remain working closely with the Grand Forks police and sheriff's departments in Grand Forks and Polk counties, Kirby said.

Authorities plan to ask North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven for assistance in the searches.

"What we're hoping for is personnel and equipment," said Grand Forks County Sheriff Dan Hill. "We're certainly not going to slow down on this thing."

Nearly 1,500 tips have come in -- not many in recent days -- and each one is checked, including those from psychics and "remote viewers," who offer their services in finding Sjodin, Kirby said.

For the first time, police are asking local fire departments in the region to join the organized searches by law enforcement officers.

Thursday, on their own initiative, the volunteer fire department in McIntosh, Minn., searched an area along the Poplar River, which is near the construction job site on the east side of town where Rodriguez worked until just before Thanksgiving. Fire Chief Larry Hedlund said he suggested the search to the Polk County Sheriff's Office after he learned Rodriguez had worked there. Nothing was found, he said.

Mark Bodunov, a drywall contractor supervising Rodriguez's work at the site, said he and the construction manager searched the area where the city is building a 28-unit assisted living apartment complex at the direction of investigators.

Reach Lee at (701) 780-1237, or (800) 477-6572, extension 237; e-mail slee@gfherald.com.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: alfonsorodriguez; dru; drusjodin; sjodin
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1 posted on 12/09/2003 8:24:28 AM PST by Hillary's Lovely Legs
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That poor girl.

Rodriquez should have been done away with years ago. It makes me ill that his sister is blaming the judicial system for not giving him support since his release.
2 posted on 12/09/2003 8:26:30 AM PST by Hillary's Lovely Legs (I have a plan. I need a dead monkey, empty liquor bottles and a vacuum cleaner.)
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
Slow painful torture is what this scum should receive. And the ones who let him out deserve the same.
3 posted on 12/09/2003 8:28:05 AM PST by JustAnAmerican
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
To hell with him and his family.

The only support scumbags like him deserve is the support from a noose around the neck.
4 posted on 12/09/2003 8:28:31 AM PST by Bikers4Bush
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
I continue to be astounded at the level of professionalism that the police and prosecutors are showing, up there.

As contrasted with the media circuses we've been seeing in high-profile cases in LA and DC.
5 posted on 12/09/2003 8:29:23 AM PST by jdege
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
When does torture become pertinent?
6 posted on 12/09/2003 8:30:04 AM PST by EggsAckley (..................."Dean's got Tom McClintock Eyes".........................)
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To: Bikers4Bush
bump to that
7 posted on 12/09/2003 8:30:07 AM PST by KantianBurke (Don't Tread on Me)
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To: JustAnAmerican
Let's hope that this case wakes people up to the danger of men like Rodriquez.

Someone correct me if I am wrong, but since kidnapping is involved, isn't this a federal crime, and therefore Rodriquez is eligible for the death penalty?
8 posted on 12/09/2003 8:30:24 AM PST by Hillary's Lovely Legs (I have a plan. I need a dead monkey, empty liquor bottles and a vacuum cleaner.)
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To: JustAnAmerican
Slow painful torture is what this scum should receive. And the ones who let him out deserve the same.

I wish we could at least get away with starving him till he tells where the body is.

9 posted on 12/09/2003 8:31:20 AM PST by wizardoz
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To: Catspaw; Sandylapper; Jackie-O; Velveeta; Devil_Anse; MaggieMay
Ping...
10 posted on 12/09/2003 8:31:41 AM PST by maggief
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To: Bikers4Bush
Now now ... we must strive to understand the "Whys" of this man and work towards a greater rehabilitation with our violent criminals. There must be deep seated sociological reason for his behavior. Let's focus and remember there are two victims in every crime. We must evolve beyond the last 6,000 years of human history and overcome the system that removes predatory humans from the gene pool [/liberal]
11 posted on 12/09/2003 8:33:18 AM PST by AD from SpringBay (We have the government we allow and deserve.)
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To: EggsAckley

12 posted on 12/09/2003 8:33:37 AM PST by Hillary's Lovely Legs (I have a plan. I need a dead monkey, empty liquor bottles and a vacuum cleaner.)
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
To answer my own question, torture became pertinent about a month ago.
13 posted on 12/09/2003 8:34:52 AM PST by EggsAckley (..................."Dean's got Tom McClintock Eyes".........................)
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
This just breaks my heart. My prayers are going out to her family and loved ones.
14 posted on 12/09/2003 8:35:36 AM PST by najida (Nope, this isn't breaking news either. Come back after dinner.)
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
I believe in the American system of justice, but there are times like this that almost make you wish we could cut out all the trial and appeal stuff and go right from arrest to execution.
15 posted on 12/09/2003 8:40:30 AM PST by governsleastgovernsbest
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
Sexual predators will always be sexual predators. This animal should have been castrated and/or never let out of prison.
16 posted on 12/09/2003 8:49:49 AM PST by GETMAIN
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs; maggiefluffs
We were discussing that on another Dru thread...I hope federal charges are pending. Death penalty is too good for this scum.
Thanks for the ping maggie.
Waiting to see if Dusek objects to releasing the info.
Seems this guy had some time to clean his car, I wonder what his activities were after the 22nd...wonder if he had some time to hide her body. We'll see how much of his whereabouts can be accounted for.
Construction sites are an excellent place to start, seeing that he probably is aware of many in his job. I'm thinking of new home constructions, new subdivisions with homes in various stages of construction. (gasp! maybe one ready for a concrete pour)
17 posted on 12/09/2003 8:50:15 AM PST by Jackie-O ("The horror...the horror"- Col. Kurtz)
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
Support??? I think they should have supported him also, on the end of a rope with a noose on the end.
18 posted on 12/09/2003 8:55:25 AM PST by cynicom
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To: JustAnAmerican
Rodriguez should be freed from jail.

Then hunted...
19 posted on 12/09/2003 9:01:21 AM PST by TSgt (I am proudly featured on U.S. Rep Rob Portman's homepage: http://www.house.gov/portman/)
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To: MikeWUSAF
Level 3..38 Predator Offender...Level Most Likely to End Offenders


20 posted on 12/09/2003 9:16:03 AM PST by Dead Dog
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To: MikeWUSAF
PETA, Preditors Eating Tasty Prisoners

<"Ummmm! Tastes Like Christian...but gamier")

21 posted on 12/09/2003 9:18:30 AM PST by Dead Dog
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To: GETMAIN
I heard that Rodriquez was out on parole? Some parole board let this guy out?!
22 posted on 12/09/2003 9:18:37 AM PST by mewzilla
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
After returning to Crookston in May to live with his mother, Rodriguez has been registered as a Level 3 sex offender, the most risky and predatory of three categories in Minnesota.

What moron sociologists come up with rating systems for violent degenerate pervert sickos? There should be only one type: post conviction dead ones.

23 posted on 12/09/2003 9:25:22 AM PST by Thinkin' Gal
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To: All
You'll all be happy to hear that this MONSTER is resting comfortably in his holding cell. Not housed with the other prisoners, mind you...oh no. His defense attorney requested a private cell for his client's safety. His prison guard (in a phone interview aired on Greta's show last night) reported that he (Rodriguez) had requested books from the library, and spent the day reading.
Nothing but the best for THIS EVIL, PATHETIC animal. Isn't our justice system wonderful?
24 posted on 12/09/2003 9:34:00 AM PST by LisaMalia (Buckeye Fan since birth!!)
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To: mewzilla
No, he wasn't on parole. He had served his maximum sentence. However, he wasn't deemed bad enough to have a hearing about whether he should be committed to a mental hospital as a sex offender.
25 posted on 12/09/2003 9:39:09 AM PST by Catspaw
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To: Catspaw
However, he wasn't deemed bad enough to have a hearing about whether he should be committed to a mental hospital as a sex offender.

Who got to make that decision?

26 posted on 12/09/2003 9:40:19 AM PST by mewzilla
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To: EggsAckley
I think we should them turn him over to our Egyptian or Turkish friends for questioning.

I'm sure they would be able to extract whatever information he contains with no problem, and without the government violating the Constitution.

Call it "privatization of interrogation".
27 posted on 12/09/2003 9:45:53 AM PST by ZULU
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
We have all watched with anger and repugnance at apparently ONE MORE case of another victim falling prey to a repeat sexual predator.

Dru Sjodin, a young, beautiful, loving woman with a loving family and an full life ahead of her, has apparently fallen victim to Carlos Rodriguez, an individual with a long record as a sexual predator, an individual who refused "treatment" for his obsession while incarcerated, an individual who was, ONCE AGAIN, approved for release by YET ANOTHER psychiatrist who should have know better.

My prayers and sympathy go out to the family and friends of Ms. Sjodin, and I hope and pray by some miracle she is still alive and the Father of us all is protecting her.

While this heart-wrenching tragedy is unfolding in the upper mid-west, one of far too many instances of this kind, what, pray tell are our elected Congresspersons up to??????

Well, they passed a law requiring a special license to transport tigers, lions and big cats across state lines.

Thats right. They took the time to pass a law requiring a federal permit to move a lion or tiger, etc. across a state line. And why, pray tell? Becuase one idiot in New York was keeping a tiger and a crocodile in his apartment.

My point is not to argue the merit of a special permit to transport tigers. My argument is time, perspecitve and efficiency. How many Americans have been killed by tigers or lions or crocodiles in the past few centuries, aside from those actually handling them?? I can't recall ONE.

How many Americans, like Dru Sjodin, have fallen victims to violent sexual predators or paedophiles?? Countless numbers.

So what interests our overpaid, over-benefitted, practically-tenured Congressmen?? Tigers and crocodiles.

If you don't want to address a complicated, serious problem, generate a non-existant one and then provide a solution. It looks good in the papers. There is more croc in Congress than croc moving across state lines.

Sexual predators and paedophiles, people who have served notice on society that they are below a ravvenous beast on the scale of rationality, should NEVER get a second chance to re-enact their crimes. They should be locked up for life. It should be a FEDERAL CRIME to commit an act of sexual predation on another human being, using the same assumption that applies in cases of simple kidnapping - that the felon may very well cross state lines. And the penalty should be death or life in prison without parole.

Congress should start dealing with real issues, and leave tigers, lions, corcodiles and law-abiding gun owners ALONE.

28 posted on 12/09/2003 9:47:01 AM PST by ZULU
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
I doubt any state involved up there (MN or ND) has the death penalty. Can I hope that somehow some Mondale-country federal prosecutor will go after this guy on a federal kidnap-murder statute? Somehow some Mondale-country jury will do the right thing, even if as now there's still no body? No Mondale-country appeals court will throw it all out?

I fear there will be no justice on this one.
29 posted on 12/09/2003 9:49:07 AM PST by VadeRetro
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
I have totally lost confidence in the American system of
"justice".

Our courts are run by politically appointed hacks with law degrees, and our legal procedings progress according to the complexities of a parlour game. Guilt ot innocence of the accused and the rights of the victim take second place to the profits of the legal "profession", who, monoplozing our legislatures and judiciary, actually concot these rules of evidence.
30 posted on 12/09/2003 9:51:06 AM PST by ZULU
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
Fry him.
31 posted on 12/09/2003 9:56:55 AM PST by BlessedBeGod
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Comment #32 Removed by Moderator

To: mewzilla
If my memory serves me correctly, the Minnesota Dept. of Corrections.
33 posted on 12/09/2003 10:03:56 AM PST by Catspaw
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To: Catspaw
Those idiots ought to be out in the cold, freezing their butts off looking for her.
34 posted on 12/09/2003 10:05:22 AM PST by mewzilla
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs; Catspaw
This pretty much blows my previous hypothesis away.

Good, now if they just find Dru alive everything will be perfect.
35 posted on 12/09/2003 10:05:50 AM PST by Ispy4u
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
We've all been around the campus with this type of crime on the forum..

Assuming they have POSITIVE DNA of hers, and other factors, it appears he did this awful thing.

They need to find the body. If they don't, he is in the drivers seat and could force a plea bargain for ""life"" in prison if he tells them where her remains are located.

Housing him with the general prison population will be a swifter death sentence than a formal execution, which will be stalled for years. Either way, he is a dead man walking, but would be safer on death row.

sw sw

36 posted on 12/09/2003 10:20:53 AM PST by spectre (Spectre's wife)
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To: All
Fox reporting they have found Dru's SHOE near the Red River. That's all I know.

sw

37 posted on 12/09/2003 10:23:51 AM PST by spectre (Spectre's wife)
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To: Catspaw
Fox ... they found one of Dru's shoes near the Red River ... under a bridge.
38 posted on 12/09/2003 10:24:52 AM PST by maggief
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To: spectre
Yep, heard that this morning.They found the shoe several days ago. It appears he was dumping evidence at random-spreading it out.
39 posted on 12/09/2003 10:28:58 AM PST by invoman
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To: maggiefluffs
.....near the Red River ... under a bridge...

Fox is incorrect- it's the Red LAKE River.
40 posted on 12/09/2003 10:30:18 AM PST by invoman
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To: maggiefluffs
I just heard the news about finding her shoe. My heart sunk.

I just hope they find her soon for the sake of her family.

41 posted on 12/09/2003 10:30:40 AM PST by Catspaw
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To: invoman
Thank you for the correction. Do you know which town would be the closest to that locale?
42 posted on 12/09/2003 10:32:27 AM PST by maggief
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To: spectre
Neither North Dakota or Minnesota has the death penalty, so plea bargaining for life (rather than death) means nothing.

The warrants should be unsealed today.

One other piece of evidence: the knife sheath found near Dru's car matches the buck knife found in Rodriguez's car.

http://www.startribune.com/stories/462/4255413.html

43 posted on 12/09/2003 10:34:08 AM PST by Catspaw
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To: Catspaw
I just heard the news about finding her shoe. My heart sunk.

I felt the same. And last I heard, Rodriguez's attorney is still telling him not to talk. How I hate these vermin.

44 posted on 12/09/2003 10:35:07 AM PST by LisaMalia (Buckeye Fan since birth!!)
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To: Catspaw
Very sad indeed.
45 posted on 12/09/2003 10:35:56 AM PST by mtbopfuyn
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To: maggiefluffs
Well, the Red Lake River flows from the Upper Red Lake, in northern MN to the Red River which is the border between ND and MN. According to reports, the shoe was found at the intersection of Highway 75 and the Red Lake River. This is approximately the same area that her cell phone signal was coming from.

The cell phone signal was coming from the Fisher's landing area. Fisher's landing is about 1/2 way in between where she was abducted and where the perp lives. About perp's house and abduction location are about 25 miles apart.

Divers were sent out to look for more clues in the Red Lake River, earlier last week, which is the likely time and place the shoe was found.
46 posted on 12/09/2003 10:38:14 AM PST by invoman
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To: LisaMalia
The first thing defense lawyers tell their clients is to shut up. I doubt if Rodriguez will talk unless he's given a gift by the prosecutor, and that ain't about to happen.
47 posted on 12/09/2003 10:38:15 AM PST by Catspaw
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To: Catspaw
It's so sad ... prayers for the family.
48 posted on 12/09/2003 10:38:56 AM PST by maggief
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To: Catspaw
No death penalty? So does this mean he will be infiltrated with the other inmates? They will take care of him, and God Forgive me, I hope they do.

sw

49 posted on 12/09/2003 10:41:03 AM PST by spectre (Spectre's wife)
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To: Catspaw
The first thing defense lawyers tell their clients is to shut up.

I know, he's "just doing his job". But don't you wonder how he sleeps at night?

50 posted on 12/09/2003 10:41:55 AM PST by LisaMalia (Buckeye Fan since birth!!)
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