Jury says Duncan eligible for death penalty - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Jury says Duncan eligible for death penalty

BOISE, Idaho - After less than two hours of deliberation, the jury in convicted killer Joseph Duncan's sentencing hearing decided unanimously that he is eligible to receive the death penalty.

Previous Coverage

-TRANSCRIPT: Duncan makes closing arguments against death penalty
- Prosecution & defense rest in Duncan case; closing arguments set to begin
-
Jurors shown Duncan's torture videotape
-Expert says Duncan's shotgun wouldn't accidentally fire
- Jury hears disturbing letter from Duncan to his mother
- Duncan Sentencing: Police interview with Shasta played in court

Duncan was found eligible for the death penalty on counts 1, 5, and 7 of the original indictment against him.

In December, Duncan pleaded guilty to 10 federal counts, after kidnapping Dylan and Shasta Groene from their Coeur d'Alene home, taking them to Montana where he tortured them and ultimately killed Dylan.

The three counts that qualified him for the death penalty are kidnapping resulting in the death of a child, sexual exploitation of a child resulting in death and using a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence resulting in death.

As the jury's decision was read, Duncan sat with his hands folded or in his pockets, looking down.

This completes phase one of his sentencing trial. Now it will be up to that same jury in phase two, to decide if Duncan will be executed or spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Duncan, a convicted pedophile originally from Tacoma has pleaded guilty to federal and state counts including murder. The federal jury is considering the death penalty on charges related to
the kidnappings and Dylan's murder, but he also could face execution on state counts for the killing of the children's three family members. He had lived in Fargo, N.D., before his arrest.

Duncan has a long string of arrests and convictions for crimes ranging from car theft to rape and molestation. He is suspected in the slayings of two half-sisters from Seattle in 1996 and is
charged with killing a young boy in Riverside County, California in 1997.

A witness testified for the prosecution on Thursday that Duncan had raped him at gunpoint in 1980, when the man was just 14 years old.

Court Documents

 

 

 

 

 

 

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