Inmate who killed SD guard says he will kill again

October 26, 2011 - 6:50 PM
Prison Guard Killing

Mark Kadi represents Eric Robert during the hearing at Minnehaha County Courthouse, in Sioux Falls, S.D., Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011. Robert pleaded guilty in September to killing 63-year-old penitentiary guard Ronald Johnson by bashing him with a pipe, covering his mouth with plastic wrap and wearing the dead man's uniform in the failed escape attempt. (AP Photo/Argus Leader, Emily Spartz)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A 49-year-old inmate who pleaded guilty to the April killing of a South Dakota penitentiary guard asked a judge to sentence him to death.

Eric Robert pleaded guilty in September to bashing 63-year-old Ronald "R.J." Johnson with a pipe, covering his mouth with plastic wrap and wearing the dead man's uniform in a failed escape attempt on April 12.

During the third and final day of his pre-sentencing hearing, Robert asked Judge Bradley Zell to give him the death penalty.

Robert had earlier said he wanted to die, but Zell said the state had to prove the death penalty was warranted during the pre-sentencing hearing.

Two other inmates are charged in Johnson's death — 49-year-old Rodney Berget and 47-year-old Michael Nordman. Both have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial.