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Mental competency hearing for Rodriguez pushed to July

Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. listens at his bail hearing on a kidnapping charge in Northeast Central District Court in Grand Forks on Dec. 4, 2003. Dave Wallis/The Forum

FARGO — A mental health hearing that had been set for December for Alfonso Rodriguez is now set for July, according to a scheduling order filed in U.S. District Court in Fargo and dated Wednesday, Oct. 25.

The hearing was continued to allow the parties involved to conduct discovery and "frame up the issues," Judge Ralph Erickson wrote in his order resetting the hearing.

Attorneys for Rodriguez, who is on death row for the kidnapping and murder of Dru Sjodin, maintain he is not mentally competent to be executed.

A hearing regarding evidentiary issues in the case was held in June. It lasted several days.

Rodriguez has been on death row since he was convicted in federal court in 2006.