Jury selected; opening statements made in Duncan sentencing - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Jury selected; opening statements made in Duncan sentencing

Joseph Duncan III Joseph Duncan III

BOISE, Idaho. - The jury was selected and opening statements were made Wednesday in the sentencing phase of convicted killer Joseph Duncan's federal murder case.

Federal prosecutors and Duncan narrowed a group of 61 people down to a group of fifteen. Before noon Wednesday, 12 jurors and three alternates were selected to serve on the jury, composed of nine men and six women.

Duncan told the court Wednesday he debated on whether or not to make his opening statement, which ended up lasting all of one minute and thirty seconds.

In that statement Duncan told jurors that up until the part where he took Dylan and Shasta Groene to the campground where he would later torture and kill Dylan, the information provided in the prosecution's case is correct.

However, he said that the information in the prosecution's case after that point in time is inaccurate, and that he would be testifying to clear up the false information.

In their opening statement the prosecution described how when Duncan went to the Groene residence, he wanted his victims to think he was there to steal guns, knowing the parents would put up a fight if they knew he was there for the children.

Prosecutors said Duncan talked to Shasta about his past crimes, thinking that he was talking to a dead girl since he already planned to kill her.

The prosecution told the court a GPS device police found during their investigation contained a list of locations where Duncan had gone to watch children. One of those locations was in Spokane, Washington.

Officials think Duncan saved that information because he actually wanted to be caught.

Prosecutors described to the jury how Duncan was taken aback at how easy it was to kill people, saying he wanted to harm society as much as he could and then die.

As the proceeding continue jurors will decide whether Duncan should spend life in prison without parole, or get the death penalty. 

Duncan pleaded guilty to 10 federal counts in December, to kidnapping Shasta Groene and her brother Dylan from their Coeur d'Alene home in 2005, and the torture and slaying of Dylan at a Montana campsite.

Also on KHQ.com

- Judge closes court during Duncan victim testimony
- Duncan's standby counsel want no part in jury selection
- Court rules Duncan mentally competent

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