Escape Attempt at State Penitentiary, South Dakota

Escape Attempt at State Penitentiary, South Dakota

South Dakota State Penitentiary, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
April 13, 2011

Two prisoners attacked a guard in the prison’s factory area, killing him and using his uniform to attempt to escape the prison. They were caught and charged with murder. They pled not guilty and lost at trial, were sentenced to death and executed in October 2012 and 2018.

Eric Robert and Rodney Berget attacked the guard in the factory area, left him with plastic wrap over his head. Robert then put on the guard’s uniform and Berget climbed in a box on a cart. Robert attempted to wheel the cart out of the facility, passing through the first gate, but getting stopped at a second by suspicious staff. They were charged with murder. Robert pled not guilty and was convicted and in October of 2012 Robert was executed by lethal injection. Berget admitted his role in the escape attempt and was also sentenced to death.  After years of appeals and mental health evaluations, he wrote the judge against his lawyers’ advice to withdraw his appeal. He said he could not imagine spending another 30 years in prison if the death penalty was not applied. He was also executed in November of 2018.



S.D. inmates killed guard with shrink wrap, tried to use uniform to escapeTwin Cities Pioneer Press, April 12, 2011.

South Dakota executes inmate who killed prison guard in 2011Albuquerque Journal, October 29, 2018.


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