Duncan Attorneys Propose Plea Deal To D.A.'s Office - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

DEVELOPING: Duncan Attorneys Propose Plea Deal To D.A.'s Office

KESQ.COM - Attorneys for already-condemned child killer Joseph Edward Duncan, III, have presented a proposed plea agreement to the Riverside County District Attorney's Office, which is slated to make a decision on whether to accept the offered deal on March 7.

Duncan is accused in Riverside County in the 1997 kidnap-murder of a Beaumont boy and was convicted in another state of other killings. Details of the settlement were not made public.

Duncan, 47, who has already been sentenced to death for the slaying of an Idaho boy, would face capital punishment if convicted by a jury of abducting and killing 10-year-old Anthony Martinez.

He was extradited to Riverside County in January 2009 to stand trial in the Beaumont killing.

Duncan had been representing himself until a new defense team was appointed last October. He relieved his earlier attorney in August 2009, when he was deemed competent to stand trial by a jury.

He was tied to the Coachella Valley slaying when Anthony's name surfaced during questioning in Idaho and partial fingerprints found at the scene where the boy's body was discovered matched Duncan, authorities have said.

Duncan allegedly left a fingerprint on the duct tape that was used to bind Anthony, who was abducted by a stranger with a knife as he played with friends in an alley behind his family's apartment on April 4, 1997.

The child's nude body was found by a Bureau of Land Management Ranger on April 19, 1997, on Berdoo Canyon Road in Indio -- some 90 miles east of where he was snatched -- south of Joshua Tree National Monument.

The Riverside County District Attorney's Office charged Duncan with Anthony's murder in 2007.

Duncan was sentenced to death in August 2008 by a federal judge in Boise, Idaho, for murdering 9-year-old Dylan Groene.

Duncan kidnapped the boy and his 8-year-old sister in May 2005, then tortured and sexually abused both of them over the course of several weeks before shooting Dylan in the head while his sister watched.

Duncan also killed the children's brother and mother, and the mother's fiance. He was arrested after a waitress at a Denny's restaurant recognized him and the kidnapped younger sister.

Law enforcement agencies nationwide subsequently began investigating whether the drifter and high school dropout, whose first sex offense was committed when he was 12, could be tied to other cases.

Duncan has indicated he does not deny the allegations against him, but cannot plead guilty because of a California law that stipulates a defendant must be represented by an attorney and have that lawyer's consent to enter a guilty plea in a potential death penalty case.

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