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Duncan case: What’s next

Convicted killer Joseph Duncan remains in federal custody in Boise, awaiting final sentencing on the seven non-capital counts in his 10-count federal indictment. He’s pleaded guilty to all charges, and has been sentenced to death for all three of the capital charges, involving the kidnapping, sexual exploitation and murder of 9-year-old Dylan Groene in 2005.

On Nov. 3, U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge will sentence Duncan, 45, for the remaining counts, which involve Duncan’s abduction and abuse of both Dylan and his then-8-year-old sister, Shasta. Also on that date, immediately before the federal sentencing, Duncan will be formally sentenced to three additional consecutive life terms in Idaho state prison for the murders of the children’s 13-year-old brother, Slade Groene; their mother, Brenda Matthews Groene; and her fiancé, Mark McKenzie.

That sentencing will take place by video hookup to the federal courthouse in Coeur d’Alene, while Duncan appears in Lodge’s courtroom in Boise. After the Nov. 3 proceedings, California will be free to begin extradition proceedings to bring Duncan there to face another possible death penalty for the 1997 abduction and murder of 10-year-old Anthony Martinez.

Betsy Z. Russell



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Ethics Commission: Mayor David Condon honest in handling of Frank Straub questions

UPDATED: 8:09 p.m.

The final complaint targeting Mayor David Condon for his handling of the ouster of former Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub was unanimously dismissed by the city’s Ethics Commission on Wednesday, who said the complaint was fueled by opinions, not facts or evidence presented by former City Council President Joe Shogan.