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Inmate in SD guard killing sentenced to death
Inmate who killed South Dakota penitentiary guard in failed escape attempt sentenced to death
By The Associated Press

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) ' A South Dakota inmate who pleaded guilty to killing a penitentiary guard during an escape attempt has been sentenced to death.

Eric Robert was sentenced Thursday after asking the judge a day earlier to give him the death penalty, saying his one regret was that he did not kill another officer and that he will kill again.

He had pleaded guilty to bashing 63-year-old Ronald "R.J." Johnson with a pipe on April 12, covering his mouth with plastic wrap and wearing the dead man's uniform.

Prosecutors said they were seeking the death penalty based on five aggravating factors and Robert's violent history. Second Circuit Judge Bradley Zell said the state had to prove it was warranted.

Two other inmates are charged in Johnson's death. Both have pleaded not guilty.

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