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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Idaho

Attorney wants statements held back

Taryn Brodwater Staff writer

The attorney for murder suspect Joseph Edward Duncan III is asking the court to suppress statements that Duncan allegedly made during jailhouse interviews in late July.

Public Defender John Adams said in the motion that statements Duncan allegedly made to authorities on July 19-20 were obtained in violation of Duncan’s right to remain silent and to have an attorney present during questioning.

Duncan is facing three counts of first-degree murder in connection with the May deaths of Brenda Groene; her boyfriend, Mark McKenzie; and her 13-year-old son, Slade Groene.

Some of the statements Duncan allegedly made to law enforcement implicated him in the death of a 10-year-old boy in Riverside, Calif., and two girls from the Seattle area.

Adams got a temporary order July 22 from 1st District Judge John Luster prohibiting jailers from approaching Duncan with requests from law enforcement for interviews.

Before the temporary order was issued, Duncan reportedly talked to authorities from Riverside, Calif., who said Duncan didn’t confess to the 1997 murder of Anthony Martinez, but had mentioned the boy’s name and said he’d been in Southern California.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department announced in early August that a partial fingerprint tied Duncan to the crime.

Duncan also reportedly mentioned the 1996 deaths of 11-year-old Sammiejo White and her sister, 9-year-old Carmen Cubias, during his talks with law enforcement. King County authorities have said there is no physical evidence, however, linking Duncan to the crime.

In the motion Adams filed Sept. 6 to suppress the alleged statements, he said he planned to submit facts in support of the motion and request a hearing on the matter.

That same day, Adams also filed a request with the court to extend the deadline for filing pretrial motions to Nov. 30, saying that the amount of evidence involved requires additional time.

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