Latest from The Spokesman-Review
A federal judge has cleared the way for Joseph Duncan’s execution for the 2005 kidnapping, torture and murder of a 9-year-old North Idaho boy, ruling that Duncan was mentally competent when he gave up the right to appeal his death sentence. U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge issued the ruling today, following a six-week competency hearing Lodge presided over in January and February of this year.
There still could be further appeals, but Lodge’s 66-page ruling was a key step toward Duncan’s execution. The Idaho judge ruled that Duncan is “deemed competent to waive his right to appeal in this matter.”
U.S. Attorney for Idaho Wendy Olson said, “The United States is pleased with this careful, considered decision.” Duncan’s murderous attack on a North Idaho family at their home in 2005 left three other family members dead; only 9-year-old Dylan’s then-8-year-old sister, Shasta, survived the ordeal. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
Child-killer Joseph Duncan is sitting on federal Death Row in Terre Haute, Ind., but his fate still rests in an Idaho courtroom. Eight years after Duncan kidnapped, tortured and murdered a 9-year-old North Idaho boy after a murderous attack on his family, the long process that could lead to Duncan’s execution inched forward this past week, when federal prosecutors filed arguments summing up a six-week mental competency hearing that brought Duncan back to Idaho from Jan. 8 to Feb. 15. “He had the capacity to appreciate his position and to make a rational decision to abandon further litigation,” they wrote.
Duncan’s already been sentenced to death three times over for the 2005 murder of Dylan Groene. He also received nine life sentences for his bloody attack on the boy’s family at their Wolf Lodge Bay home, which left Dylan’s mother, older brother and mother’s fiancé dead; only Dylan’s then-8-year-old sister, Shasta, survived the ordeal. Duncan pleaded guilty to all charges and waived his right to appeal his death sentence. But his former defense attorneys filed an appeal for him, contending he wasn’t mentally competent when he waived his right to appeal – or when he dismissed them and chose to represent himself in his capital sentencing trial.
The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ordered a full hearing on that issue in U.S. District Court in Idaho, where U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge had ruled Duncan competent after two extensive psychological evaluations in 2008, but hadn’t held a hearing on the matter in open court. Now he has, and both sides are filing their post-hearing arguments; you can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal judge has rejected a request that the courtroom be closed for part of a convicted murderer's mental competency hearing. The Idaho Statesman (http://bit.ly/ts2JbV) reported U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge made the ruling Thursday morning in the competency hearing of Joseph Edward Duncan III. An appellate court ordered the hearing to help Lodge determine if Duncan was mentally competent back in 2008, when he gave up his right to appeal his death sentence for the 2005 kidnapping of two northern Idaho children and the murder of one of them. Duncan's attorneys wanted some testimony from Duncan's former lawyers kept secret, saying it could harm the attorney-client relationship they have with Duncan and scare off current and future clients.
Condemned killer Joseph Duncan scored high on a test measuring paranoia, but was still legally competent to serve as his own attorney when he waived his right to appeal his death sentence, a forensic psychologist testified in federal court in Boise yesterday. Dr. Robert Engle was the lead expert witness for federal prosecutors, who are arguing that Duncan was competent, as ruled by the court at the time. His lawyers say he wasn’t, so his waiver of appeals shouldn’t stand. You can read a full report here from AP reporter Rebecca Boone; the retrospective competency hearing on Duncan continues today in federal court, and is expected to last several weeks.
Before Joseph Duncan murdered a 9-year-old North Idaho boy in 2005, he set his sights on a Spokane child, posing as a prospective renter and touring a Spokane duplex with the boy’s mother while ogling the child. That news emerged in federal court in Boise this morning, where a judge is trying to determine if Duncan was mentally competent in 2008 when he waived all appeals of his triple death sentence. Among the evidence being presented is hours of interviews between Duncan and two FBI agents, in which he talked about his crimes, his reasons for waiving his appeals and more.
In the interviews, Duncan corrected the FBI agents about some things in their investigation that they’d gotten wrong, including concluding that he’d targeted a Spokane preschool music program as a possible target for his crimes, before settling on the Groene family in North Idaho to attack. Actually, Duncan said, his target in Spokane was a shirtless young boy who was adjusting a for-rent sign at a duplex down an alley from the site; Duncan said he posed as a prospective renter and toured the home with the child’s mother and the youngster. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
Condemned multiple murderer Joseph Duncan will be back in an Idaho federal courtroom today, for a retrospective competency hearing, to determine if he was mentally competent in November of 2008 when he waived his appeals. If he’s ruled competent, Duncan will go back to federal Death Row in Terre Haute, Ind., to await execution. If not, more court proceedings would ensue – possibly including a replay of his whole death penalty sentencing trial. You can read my full story here from today’s Spokesman-Review.
Meanwhile, the Idaho Legislature is off and running for its session. JFAC is meeting this morning and will begin sorting through the governor’s proposed budget for next year. House and Senate Democrats will give their response to yesterday’s State of the State message at 10 a.m., and this afternoon at 4, the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee will meet in the Capitol Auditorium and release a report on workforce issues affecting public school teachers in Idaho.
Condemned killer Joseph Duncan will be back in an Idaho federal courtroom in January, for a two-week hearing on whether he was mentally competent when he waived his right to appeal his death sentence. U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge is now sorting through issues relating to experts who will testify; he issued a ruling last week on that. You can read a full report here from AP reporter Rebecca Boone. Duncan’s defense attorneys say the crux of the case is whether Duncan suffered from religious delusions or merely held unusual religious beliefs, according to court documents. More here. Betsy Russell, EOB
I know this a legal matter, but honestly do you really care whether Duncan suffered from relgious delusions or merely held unusual religious beliefs?
Condemned killer Joseph Duncan will be back in an Idaho federal courtroom in January, for a two-week hearing on whether he was mentally competent when he waived his right to appeal his death sentence. U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge is now sorting through issues relating to experts who will testify; he issued a ruling last week on that. You can read a full report here from AP reporter Rebecca Boone. Duncan’s defense attorneys say the crux of the case is whether Duncan suffered from religious delusions or merely held unusual religious beliefs, according to court documents.
In 2008, a federal jury sentenced Duncan to death for the kidnapping, torture and murder of 9-year-old Dylan Groene of Coeur d’Alene. He also received nine life sentences for a murderous rampage in 2005, in which he killed three members of Dylan’s family in order to kidnap and molest the family’s two youngest children; only Dylan’s then-8-year-old sister, Shasta, survived. Since then, Duncan also has been convicted of a previous kidnapping and murder involving a 10-year-old California boy, drawing two more life sentences; in that case, after weeks of expert testimony, the court also ruled him mentally competent.
In the Idaho case, however, despite extensive delays for evaluations of Duncan’s mental competency, the judge had never held a competency hearing in open court. That meant all the information on Duncan’s mental competency remained secret. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that without such a hearing there was “reasonable doubt” about Duncan’s competency, and ordered Lodge to hold a “retrospective” competency hearing on Duncan’s mental state in 2008. If, after the hearing, Lodge rules that Duncan was competent when he waived his right to appeal, the death sentence stands. But if not, Lodge would then have to hold another hearing to determine if Duncan was mentally competent when he waived his right to an attorney in his 2008 sentencing trial and instead represented himself. That could force a replay of the whole sentencing trial.
That sentencing trial included graphic testimony and evidence about the crimes of the serial child molester and murderer. In his closing statement in that trial in 2008, Duncan told the jury, “You people really don’t have any clue yet of the true heinousness of what I’ve done.”
Shasta Groene is no longer the little girl that captured the hearts of the Inland Northwest by surviving a terrifying ordeal in which her mother, her mother's boyfriend and two brothers were murdered by Joseph Duncan. She's now a 16-year-old high schooler. KREM2 provides a story and exclusive interview with Shasta today. She tells KREM: “A lot of people, when they hear my name, they kinda get shocked that I've grown up so much. But I use my name and what I've been through to help people.”And: “I mean it's something that is in the back of my mind every day. I've thought about it every day, but it's something that helps me stay strong every day …because not a lot of people have survived what I have been through.” You can see the video and what Shasta looks like today by clicking this KREM2 link.
A woman who administered a bank account for donations given to benefit two North Idaho children kidnapped seven years ago is being sued by their father, who says she mismanaged the funds. The Coeur d’Alene Press reports Steven Groene, shown in AP file photo, filed the lawsuit in 1st District Court late last week against Brandy Hoagland. Hoagland is Shasta and Dylan Groene’s aunt and the administrator of a fund created after the children were kidnapped by Joseph Edward Duncan III. Duncan eventually killed Dylan and returned to Coeur d’Alene, where Shasta was rescued. In the lawsuit, Groene contends Hoagland has refused to account for the money donated by the public. Groene also contends she failed to use roughly $48,000 in the best interests of the children/Associated Press. More here.
Question: Am I the only one saddened by this story?
A court hearing on whether condemned murderer Joseph Duncan was mentally competent when he waived his right to appeal his death sentence has been set for Jan. 8, 2013. “There will be no extension … of the Jan. 8 date,” U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge said this morning as he set the hearing. Lodge appointed Michael Burt, a death penalty expert from San Francisco with expertise in mental health issues, as Duncan's attorney for the hearing.
The judge had hoped to set the hearing earlier, first looking at July and then October, but Burt isn't available until December. Lodge said he set the January timing “to avoid any holiday issues with potential witnesses.”
In 2008, a federal jury sentenced Duncan to death for the 2005 kidnap, torture and murder of a 9-year-old North Idaho boy; he also received nine life sentences for a murderous attack on the child's family that left three other people dead. After Duncan declined to appeal his death sentence and represented himself in court at his Idaho sentencing trial in 2008, his standby attorneys filed an appeal for him against his will. Duncan now says he's changed his mind and wants to appeal the sentence; he pleaded guilty to all the charges.
However, in court filings, federal prosecutors noted, “Whether the defendant now wishes to appeal, and whether he was incompetent at the time he waived his right to appeal, are separate issues. Only the second issue is before the Court.” You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
BOISE - Notorious multiple murderer Joseph Duncan was back in a Boise courtroom on Friday morning, as lawyers and a federal judge wrangled over setting a date for a new hearing into whether Duncan was mentally competent when he waived appeals of his triple death sentence for torturing and murdering a 9-year-old North Idaho boy.
Duncan, brought to Boise from federal Death Row in Terre Haute, Ind., his hair close-cropped and graying and wearing a baggy white T-shirt, left all the talking to his attorneys on Friday morning. But in December of 2010, he submitted a hand-written, two-page letter to the court saying he now wants to appeal after all.
Notorious multiple murderer Joseph Duncan was back in a Boise courtroom this morning, as lawyers and a federal judge wrangled over setting a date for a new hearing into whether Duncan was mentally competent when he waived appeals of his triple death sentence for torturing and murdering a 9-year-old North Idaho boy. Duncan, brought to Boise from federal Death Row in Terre Haute, Ind., his hair close-cropped and graying and wearing a baggy white T-shirt, left all the talking to his attorneys on Friday morning. But in December of 2010, he submitted a hand-written, two-page letter to the court saying he now wants to appeal after all.
Duncan in the past has strongly opposed contentions that he wasn't mentally competent to make that decision in 2008. He underwent two lengthy mental evaluations before U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge ruled him competent and allowed him to dismiss his lawyers in that sentencing trial and represent himself; he already had pleaded guilty to all charges. The lawyers filed an appeal to the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals against Duncan's wishes, arguing he was mentally incompetent.
“I have been very stubborn about not appealing my death sentence,” the condemned killer wrote. “My belief is that if I appeal, then I am acknowledging the system's authority to commit murder.” But he wrote that more recently, his younger brother had died, making Duncan his mother's only surviving son. “It would be utterly cruel, and indeed, inhuman, for me not to consider my mother's love when deciding what to do in regard to my own life,” Duncan wrote. “So I hereby inform you, and any others concerned, that I withdraw my waiver of appeal, and consent fully to all efforts and advice given by my attorneys to appeal.” You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
Condemned child killer Joseph Duncan will be in court in Boise today - two days after the seven-year anniversary of his murderous rampage just east of Coeur d'Alene at Wolf Lodge Bay.
Duncan (pictured in April 2011) was to be transported from federal death row in Terre Haute, Ind., to Boise this week. He's to appear before U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge at the courthouse in Boise Friday morning.
The hearing is to consider a motion to appoint San Francisco attorney Michael N. Burt to represent Duncan during his competency hearing, which has not yet been scheduled. Burt specializes in mental health and competency issues, according to the motion.
Duncan represented himself during his death penalty trial in Boise in 2008, though a team of top anti-death penalty attorneys, including high-profile attorney Judy Clarke, stood by to assist. They filed this motion on his behalf.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last July that Duncan should have been given another competency test before being allowed to to act as his own attorney and waive his right to appeal. This move means he'll undergo another one. If he passes, his death penalty stands. If he doesn't, prosecutors may have to retry him. But he's passed competency tests before.
A jury sentenced Duncan to death for the kidnapping, torture and murder of 9-year-old Dylan Groene.
Duncan was sentenced to life in prison for the May 16, 2005, hammer murders of the boy's mother, Brenda Groene, her boyfriend, Mark McKenzie, and 13-year-old Slade Groene. Dylan's sister, Shasta, then 8-years-old, also was kidnapped by Duncan, but was rescued at a Coeur d'Alene Denny's on July 2, 2005, where Duncan was arrested.
By that time, Dylan already was dead. Duncan, a fugitive convicted sex offender, shot and killed him in front of Shasta at a remote Montana campground after filming himself torturing the boy.
Condemned serial killer Joseph E. Duncan is getting another day in court.
Duncan, on death row for the torture slaying of a North Idaho boy he abducted in 2005 after slaughtering most of the youngster’s family, will undergo a hearing to determine whether he was mentally competent when he decided to represent himself and waive his appeal rights.
BOISE – The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ordered convicted child-killer Joseph Duncan back into court in Idaho, saying a federal judge should have ordered a competency hearing before allowing Duncan to waive his appeal of his death sentence.
The high court ordered U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge to hold a “retrospective” competency hearing, exploring whether Duncan was competent in November 2008 when he told Lodge he didn’t want to appeal his triple death sentence for the kidnapping, torture and murder of a North Idaho boy. If he’s found competent after the hearing, the death sentence would go forward.
When Joseph Duncan received three death sentences and nine life terms in federal court in Idaho for his murderous 2005 attack on the Groene family in North Idaho, U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge ordered two extensive mental evaluations that delayed Duncan's death penalty sentencing trial for months. But he never held a hearing on the issue in open court; as a result, all of Duncan's mental evaluations remained secret.
James Cohen, a law professor at Fordham University and an expert on the death penalty and mental competency, said, “There's no reason for the judge in Idaho to keep all this stuff secret - there's just no reason at all.” Said Cohen, “The only justification would be to protect the privacy of the defendant.” But, he said, “He lost that when he was indicted for this particular crime.”
Secrecy was extensive in the sentencing trial, with numerous documents sealed from public view, leading to several legal challenges by the media. Much of the secrecy came because the case involved a surviving child victim, but it also covered all issues of Duncan's mental competency. Cohen said there are “at least two benefits” to a public competency hearing. The first, he said, is that psychologists, psychiatrists or other experts “might be able to learn something from his mental illness that could head off others. And two, it's very important that our system work right - and we don't punish people that are mentally ill to that extreme.” You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
U.S. Attorney for Idaho Wendy Olson is making the emphatic point that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling today does NOT overturn Joseph Duncan's death sentence; instead, it reverses U.S. District Judge Lodge's order waiving Duncan's right to appeal, ordering Lodge to hold a retrospective competency hearing before deciding on that issue. Though it's a development that could potentially lead to a rerun of Duncan's entire sentencing trial in Idaho, for now, Duncan's death sentence remains in effect - and he remains on Death Row at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind.
What the 9th Circuit has done is order Duncan back into court in Idaho for the competency hearing. It's not clear yet how soon that would occur; either side has the option of appealing the 9th Circuit's ruling. Olson said her office has 14 days to decide on that. “We're not going to discuss how we're going to proceed forward,” she said.
“Our position throughout the proceedings was that Duncan was competent. That's the position we asserted.”
Judge Lodge ordered a full competency evaluation of Duncan; it delayed the sentencing trial for months. But he didn't order a hearing on the matter in court. “There was no actual hearing in court where witnesses were called and cross-examination was conducted,” Olson said. “The Court of Appeals is saying, as a procedural matter, the district court should have done that.”
U.S. Attorney for Idaho Wendy Olson said in a statement, “Since his arrest in July 2005, Joseph Edward Duncan, III, has been found competent by every court or jury to have considered the issue. He has three times pleaded guilty to murder charges or offenses resulting in death, each time with the assistance of counsel. At the time of his guilty pleas in October 2006 in Kootenai County, Idaho, December 2007 in federal district court in Boise and March 2011 in Riverside County, California, none of Duncan’s counsel asserted in court that Duncan was incompetent to enter a guilty plea. After Duncan was sentenced to death in U.S. District Court in Idaho, he was transferred to Riverside County, California, to face state charges in connection with the 1997 murder of a 10-year-old boy. Both a jury and the presiding judge found that Duncan was competent to proceed in that case. Throughout the federal court proceedings in the District of Idaho, the United States Attorney’s Office took the position that Duncan was competent.”
“The United States Attorney’s Office will participate in the retrospective competency hearing, as directed by the distinguished judges who serve on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. No hearing date has yet been set.” You can read her full statement here.
Here's a link to the 9th Circuit ruling out today on Joseph Duncan, which orders U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge to hold a competency hearing to determine if Duncan was competent to waive his right to appeal his death sentence. If the answer is yes, then the sentence will go forward. If not, the federal court in Idaho would have to “proceed to determine whether Defendant competently waived his right to counsel before the penalty phase hearing.” If it then finds that he wasn't competent to do that, it would have to “vacate Defendant’s sentence and convene a new penalty phase hearing with Defendant properly represented.” That would mean a rerun of Duncan's entire sentencing trial in federal court in Boise for his deadly attack on the Groene family of North Idaho.
Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has thrown out the death penalty of Joseph Edward Duncan III, saying he should have been given a competency hearing before he was allowed to waive his appeal. The appellate court handed down the ruling Monday, ordering U.S. District Court Judge Edward Lodge to hold a retrospective competency hearing for Duncan. Duncan was sentenced to die in 2008 for kidnapping, torturing and murdering a 9-year-old Coeur d'Alene boy in 2005. Prosecutors said Duncan snatched Dylan Groene and his 8-year-old sister from their northern Idaho home after killing their older brother, mother and mother's fiance. Duncan kept the children at a remote Montana campsite for weeks before killing Dylan and returning with Dylan's sister to Coeur d'Alene, where he was arrested.
A man who tortured and killed two boys in California and Idaho has been returned to death row in federal prison.
Federal prison officials say 48-year-old Joseph Edward Duncan III — who spent more than two years in a Riverside County jail — arrived at a federal prison in Indiana Wednesday.
Duncan was sentenced Tuesday for killing Anthony Martinez, who was kidnapped in 1997 as he played near his Beaumont home. Duncan confessed to the crime after his arrest in Idaho.
He was convicted of kidnapping, raping, torturing and killing a Coeur d'Alene boy, Dylan Groene, in 2005 and beating to death the boy's older brother, mother and her fiance with a hammer.
He will await execution in Terre Haute, where the nation's federal death row inmates are held.
(Steve) Groene wants a national one-strike law for violent sex offenders. And he is getting support. In less than a week Groene's Facebook page for his son's Dylan and Slade has tripled in followers. Groene's boys were two of Duncan's five murder victims. His daughter Shasta was tortured but survived. Groene believes a one-strike law may have saved his family. “Who's to say that if this hadn't been done to my boys that one of them might not have been president some day and been the best president this nation ever had,” said Groene/KREM. More here. (SR file photo: Betsy Russell)
Question: Should there be a national one-strike law for violent sexual offenders?
A well-known anti-death penalty lawyer tapped to represent alleged Tucson, Ariz., shooter Jared Loughner led child-killer Joseph Duncan's defense team during his 2008 trial in Boise.
Judy Clarke, formerly federal defender for Eastern Washington and Idaho, has also defended Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, child-killer Susan Smith and domestic terrorists Timothy McVeigh and Eric Robert Rudolph.
Clarke (pictured in 2007) was present during Duncan's death penalty trial in Boise, where he represented himself as his team of court-appointed lawyers stood by. They had earlier tried to leave Duncan's case, saying their participation would violate their professional ethics.
“We are not gunslingers who do the bidding of someone who does not have a rational understanding,” Clarke told U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge.
Lodge declined Clarke's request.
Clarke currently is a lawyer in San Diego, where she has also been a federal defender.
She was called on over the weekend to defend Loughner, who is accused of shooting U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords during an event in Tucson on Saturday. He's also accused of killing six others, including U.S. District Judge John Roll.
Clarke worked in Eastern Washington and Idaho from 1992 to June 2002. Her husband, Speedy Rice, was an instructor at Gonzaga Law School. She has twice argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and named one of her dogs in honor of former Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas.
Convicted killer Joseph Edward Duncan, already condemned to die for a murderous North Idaho rampage in 2005 and about to stand trial in California for an earlier slaying, has reconsidered plans to represent himself in the new death penalty case.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge David Downing on Monday appointed Gail O’Rane, an attorney from the Riverside County public defender’s Capital Defense Unit, after Duncan said he had changed his mind about representing himself.
Neither Duncan nor his newly appointed attorney gave a reason for why he wanted an attorney. He requested to represent himself last year after a jury ruled he was fit to stand trial and capable of assisting an attorney. (Duncan is pictured at right, photo by Stan Lim of The Press-Enterprise)
Duncan was brought to Indio, Calif., in January 2009 to face murder and torture charges in the 1997 death of Anthony Martinez, a 10-year-old boy from Beaumont, Calif., who was taken at knifepoint and discovered 10 days later beaten to death with a rock and bound in duct tape.
Duncan was extradited to Southern California after being given nine life terms and three death sentences for the murder of an Idaho family and the kidnapping, torture and murder of a little boy. Brenda Groene, Slade Groene and Mark McKenzie were beat to death at the family’s Wolf Lodge Bay home; and 9-year-old Dylan Groene, who was abducted along with his 8-year-old sister, Shasta Groene, was shot and killed at a Montana campground after being tortured in a cabin. Shasta was rescued at a Coeur d’Alene restaurant, where Duncan was apprehended.
Read the full story by John Asbury at the Riverside Press-Enterprise by clicking the link below
Item: California murder trial for Joseph Duncan delayed one year/John Asbury, Riverside Press Enterpris
More Info: In court last week, Duncan, who is representing himself, told the court he would not be ready to go to trial by November, if at all. He said he still needed thousands of pages of evidence from the district attorney’s office that have not been turned over. Riverside County Superior Court Judge David Downing said he wanted the case to go to trial no later than September 2011. He ordered prosecutors to have the evidence given to Duncan by January or February.
Question: Will Joseph Duncan ever be put to death for his sex crimes against children and the murder of Shasta Groene’s family?
“My photogenic & fellow sun-loving friend Stephanic Smith enjoys the lazy river at Boulder Beach/Silverwood Theme Park,” posts Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho. “Although Silverwood Theme Park is open weekends through September, Labor Day weekend is the last chance to splash in their Boulder Beach waterpark.”
- Trial for Joseph Duncan delayed 1 year/John Asbury, Riverside Press-Enterprise
- Ex-KKK grand wizard David Duke to visit Sandpoint/Keith Kinnaird, Bee
- Idaho jobless rate edges up slightly/Coeur d’Alene Press
- Investigators interview Deputy Hirzel over fatal shooting/KXLY
- New Boise state assistant coach arrested for DUI, not making D.C. trip/KTVB
- Deadline expires for Idaho Lottery winner to claim $1M/KTVB
- Kitten target of chemical attack, tossed around like baseball/KBOI
Six FBI special agents and support personnel from Idaho also have been awarded the U.S. Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement for their work on the Joseph Duncan case, joining five from the U.S. Attorney’s office prosecution team. The six from the FBI: Special Agents Mike Gneckow and Gail Gneckow, Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Donald Robinson Jr., Investigative Operations Analyst Dorothy Boyles, Evidence Technician Esther Tamez, and Financial Analyst Michele Lewis.
Special Agent in Charge Timothy J. Furhman of the Salt Lake City FBI field office had this comment: “As we have said from the beginning, the number one goal of the FBI and the United States Attorney’s Office personnel who investigated and prosecuted this case, was to achieve justice for the victims of the heinous criminal act perpetrated by Mr. Duncan. Recognition of the efforts of the personnel most deeply involved in this case is a testament to not only their efforts, but a number of other personnel from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Salt Lake City FBI Field Office. They worked together to achieve justice for Dylan Groene, Brenda Groene, Slade Groene, Mark McKenzie, and of course, Shasta Groene. These efforts by both the investigative staff and prosecutive staff are in the highest traditions of the FBI and the Department of Justice. Finally, this recognition could not have occurred without the cooperation and involvement of Steve Groene and other family members and friends of the victims.”
U.S. Attorney Tom Moss said, “This was an opportunity to applaud the commitment and efforts of our dedicated employees as well as our dedicated federal, state and local law enforcement agents and officers, notably the FBI, Idaho State Police, Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office and Coeur d’Alene Police Department, but also a time to remember the victims and survivors of this tragic event. Although nothing we can do will heal the wounds this family has suffered, we hope that we have brought some sense of justice and closure.”
Five employees of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Idaho, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Wendy Olson and Traci Whelan, have been honored with the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement for their work on the Joseph Duncan case, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced today. All five were part of the Duncan prosecution team; in addition to the two attorneys, those honored included Paralegal Specialist Denise Price, Litigation Support Specialist Pam Rocca, and Victim-Witness Specialist Kristi Johnson. “It is my privilege to honor these recipients for their outstanding service and commitment to our country,” Holder said. “Their varied accomplishments have advanced the interests of justice on behalf of the American people, and I’m proud to call them my colleagues.”
Duncan was given three death sentences plus multiple life prison terms in federal court in Idaho for his 2005 attack on the Groene family in Coeur d’Alene, which left four family members dead and which just one 8-year-old child survived.
Thirteen months after multiple murderer Joseph Duncan was handed three death sentences by an Idaho federal court jury, his appeal in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals remains stalled at its earliest stage: The appellate court has yet to rule on whether it can even consider the appeal. Duncan said he didn’t want to file an appeal, but his standby attorneys filed it for him anyway. The high court has ordered the attorneys to present arguments on two points: Whether the appeal can even be considered, when Duncan didn’t want it filed; and whether he was mentally competent to waive his right to appeal. But the defense attorneys have sought and received two lengthy delays to submit those arguments; the second was granted just last week. You can read my full story here from Sunday’s Spokesman-Review.