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The fate of an accused in a murder case to be decided

The U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley told the jurors that Dru Sjodin, 22, struggled for her life and she left “unmistakable” proof indicating that Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. was the man responsible for her death.//

Rodriguez, 53, a convicted sex offender from Crookston, Minnesota, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of abduction resulting in the death of Sjodin, a student of the University of North Dakota. According to prosecutors, death penalty will be obtained if Rodriguez is found guilty.

The case was given on Tuesday, soon after 4p.m., local time, to the federal jury comprising 7 women and 5 men. After almost an hour, the case was suspended without reaching a judgment. The jury members were told to select a leader and set their own schedule for discussions.

On Nov. 22, 2003, Sjodin was kidnapped from the parking lot of a Grand Forks shopping mall. In April 2004, her body was found in a ravine close to Crookston.

According to Wrigley, the blood found in Rodriguez's car matched Sjodin's DNA, and it was found in a mist pattern, pointing Sjodin fought her attacker and was beaten. "Ladies and gentlemen, Dru Sjodin battled him every step of the way, and she left us unmistakable messages," Wrigley said. "She's right here," he said, pointing Sjodin's clothing introduced as evidence in court. "She's right here with all of us today. You can feel her strength."

Rodriguez's blanket’s fibres found on Sjodin’s clothing and her clothing’s fibres in Rodriguez’s car were convincing evidence, according to Wrigley. Rodriguez lied about his whereabouts on the day Sjodin vanished, he added.

"His stories sprung leak after leak after leak," Wrigley said.

George Sensabaugh Jr. was the only witness called by Rodriguez’s lawyers. Sensabaugh Jr. is a forensic science professor from California. According to him tests for sexual assault were not reliable.

Sensabaugh said he knew hardly any details about the case and bas
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