South Dakota man gets put to death for murder of prison guard
A South Dakota prisoner was put to death on Monday after he killed a prison guard in 2011.
Eric Robert, 50, was put to death by lethal injection in Sioux Falls on Monday. He is the 17th prisoner in South Dakota to be executed since 1877, according to the AP.
On April 12, 2011 Robert killed Ronald “RJ” Johnson in an attempted escape from jail, along with fellow inmate Rodney Berget, 50. He beat Johnson with a pipe and covered his head in plastic wrap to kill him.
Johnson was working alone in the part of the prison known as Pheasantland Industries. Inmates worked on upholstery, signs, custom furniture and other projects in this section of the prison. Robert and Berget beat Johnson with a pipe and covered his head in plastic wrap and left him lying on the floor. Robert then put on Johnsons pants, hat, and jacket and went to the west gate of the prison. He put his head down and pushed a cart with two boxes, one of those boxes contained Berget hiding in it.
Guards became suspicious as the men approached the gate and they confronted him. Robert then beat another guard.
The AP reports that Robert told a judge month later that he regretted not killing more guards. He pleaded guilty to the murder of Johnson and asked to be sentenced to death or else he would kill again. He never appealed the sentence and tried to skip a mandatory state review to try and speed up his death.
Berget also pleaded guilty but has appealed his death sentence. Michael Nordman, an inmate, was given a life sentence for providing the materials.
According to the Argus Leader, Roberts was but to deat at 10pm on Monday night.