JUDGE RALPH ERICKSON

Prosecutors begin round 2 of arguing Rodriguez death penalty

FARGO, N.D. — Prosecutors in North Dakota’s first and only death penalty case say defense attorneys are wrong by claiming the judge didn’t go far enough in explaining why he threw out the sentence for Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. He was convicted of killing UND student Dru Sjodin. Judge Ralph Erickson in September ordered a new sentencing phase be conducted, saying…

What’s next? Former U.S. Attorney outlines possibilities after judge overturns Rodriguez death penalty

Drew WrigleyFARGO (KVRR) – The man who led the prosecution in the death penalty case against Alfonso Rodriguez, Jr. says now that a federal judge has overturned Rodriguez’s death sentence, the government’s next move will likely be decided at “the top levels of the Justice Department.” “On a case like this, I would imagine that the Solicitor General of the…

Grand Forks Lawyer Nominated As U.S. District Court Judge for North Dakota

Peter Welte is currently in private practice

GRAND FORKS, ND — President Donald Trump has nominated former Grand Forks County State Attorney Peter Welte to serve as the U.S. District Court Judge for North Dakota. In a statement, Senator John Hoeven said, “We appreciate his work over the years and look forward to advancing his nomination through the Senate.” Welte is currently in private practice, emphasizing in criminal…

Man Convicted in “Operation Speed Racer” Loses Appeal

The killing was tied to a violent cartel based in Tijuana, Mexico

  EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. — A man convicted of murder in a North Dakota drug conspiracy case tied to a major Mexican cartel has lost his appeal. Gabriel Martinez had claimed that his lawyers did a poor job and one of them was too chummy with Federal Judge Ralph Erickson. He sentenced Martinez to life in prison in 2008…