Idaho 1st District Judge Fred Gibler has sentenced Joseph Duncan to three more fixed life terms, for the murders of Brenda Matthews Groene, Mark McKenzie and Slade Groene in 2005, in accordance with a plea agreement. Gibler, addressing Duncan through a video link, told Duncan before pronouncing the sentence that he’d give him the opportunity “to say anything you have to say at this point.”
Duncan, sitting alone at the defense table, his long hair grown even longer, his beard even fuller, responded, “I have nothing to say.” Duncan is attired just as he was during his federal sentencing hearing, in a garish yellow-orange sweatshirt and yellow prison-issue scrubs. “You have nothing to say?” the judge said. “Correct,” Duncan said.
The three fixed life terms for the three 2005 murders will be served concurrently, Gibler said, but they’ll be consecutive to the three consecutive life terms Duncan already has received on state kidnapping charges for binding the three victims before he murdered them.
In court this morning, Steve Groene, father of the murdered children, watched silently, tapping his foot, dressed in a black leather jacket and black jeans. Afterward, he told a companion, “The next stop is California.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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