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Eye On Boise archive for Aug. 2008

FRIDAY, AUG. 29, 2008

Time for a week off 

It’s time for me to take a week off; I’ll return to work on Sept. 8th. I plan to do some windsurfing and mountain biking, spend time with family, clean my house and get some rest. I still hope to speak with jurors, perhaps after…

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THURSDAY, AUG. 28, 2008

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 27, 2008

Seven more charges still

Joseph Duncan still must appear again before Judge Lodge in Boise for sentencing on the other seven charges to which he’s pleaded guilty. Today, he was sentenced to death for each of the three capital crimes. For the other offenses, for kidnapping and molesting Dylan…

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Tearful jurors to Groene: 'We're so sorry'

S-R reporter Meghann Cuniff saw the emotional scene in the elevator lobby of the federal courthouse, where tearful jurors shook the hand of Steven Groene, father of the victim, while he thanked the jurors. “You made the right decision – don’t ever think you didn’t,”…

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Jurors have been through a lot in this case

The jury pool – 12 jurors and three alternates – dropped down from 15 to 14 yesterday, as one alternate juror, an elderly gentleman, was gone. Judge Edward Lodge said today that that alternate juror was “excused by the court for good cause.” He wasn’t…

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Shasta's words fill courtroom again

During the prosecution’s closing statement, Assistant U.S. Attorney Traci Whelan illustrated some of her points by playing snippets of audio of Shasta Groene’s statements to police just after her rescue from Duncan in 2005. In one, Shasta, just outside the Denny’s restaurant where she was…

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'Use your ... sense of justice'

U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge has just finished reading a half-hour’s worth of instructions to the jurors; closing arguments are up next. “You are called upon to make a reasoned, moral judgment,” the judge told the jurors. “Use your experience, judgment and sense of justice.”…

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Closing arguments this morning

With heartfelt testimony from the father of murdered Dylan Groene, prosecutors wrapped up their case Tuesday in the federal death penalty sentencing trial for admitted killer Joseph Duncan, and U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge set closing arguments for 9 a.m. today, Boise time, after which…

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TUESDAY, AUG. 26, 2008

Shasta never testified

The testimony has come to a close in Joseph Duncan’s federal death penalty sentencing trial without the sole surviving victim, now-11-year-old Shasta Groene, having to take the stand and see her attacker again. The prosecution and defense had reached an agreement regarding Shasta’s testimony in…

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A few oddities...

Among the odd, stray items raised in today’s evidence: Duncan’s girlfriend in Seattle apparently had a husband and two young daughters. In a monthly report from May of 1996 from Duncan’s parole officer, Sandy Silver, presented in court today, a note at the bottom says,…

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'What everybody came to love'

Steve Groene resisted when Assistant U.S. Attorney Traci Whelan referred to his murdered son by initials as “D.G.” “I would like to state, I’m not comfortable diminishing my two boys’ names down to initials,” he told the court. The court proceedings have used only initials…

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'The United States rests'

With heartfelt testimony from Steve Groene, father of the murdered child, the prosecution has wrapped up its victim-impact testimony. “At this point, the United States rests,” U.S. Attorney Tom Moss told the court. Judge Edward Lodge then asked Duncan to call his first witness, but…

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Victim-impact testimony begins

The victim-impact testimony has started in Joseph Duncan’s sentencing trial. Little Dylan’s aunt, Brandy Hoagland, her voice breaking, said, “He was really affectionate, he was just a little teddy bear. … It’s been pretty traumatic. It’s just a huge hole in our heart and an…

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Duncan took girlfriend's car to southern California

Joseph Duncan’s former girlfriend in Seattle, Sadequa “Dee” Ellis, testified only briefly today. She said she met Duncan at work at Time-Life Libraries between 1995 and 1996. Asked the nature of their relationship, she said simply, “girlfriend.” Duncan sat gazing at her over clasped hands,…

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A strange exchange

Joseph Duncan’s former girlfriend, roommate and parole officer from Seattle testified this morning, leading to some odd exchanges. Joseph Ruan, an auto mechanic and former tow truck driver who rented his back bedroom out to Duncan in 1996, recalled Duncan making disparaging comments about the…

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Court delayed this morning

Court started 35 minutes late this morning, and the defendant, who’s usually the first one in court, wasn’t there. The only explanation was that it was “security related.” Numerous deputy marshals are required to move Duncan; it’s possible some could have been delayed by closed…

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Monday’s evidence

Among the pieces of evidence introduced in court on Monday were an immigration document showing Joseph Duncan visited Mexico two days after 10-year-old Anthony Martinez’s murder in southern California; photos of duct tape found near Anthony's body that bore Duncan's fingerprint; and a leather-bound journal…

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Sad news at the fire site

As morning dawns over the fire site, the news comes that a body was discovered in one of the destroyed homes. Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan confirmed the sad news to KTVB-TV about 2:30 this morning. In the end at least nine homes were destroyed,…

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News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.

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