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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Dying winds give crews hope in Northern California fires

Easing winds gave California firefighters a break Tuesday as they battled a destructive wildfire that was driven by strong winds through wine country north of San Francisco and another rural blaze that killed three people.

‘Terrifying’ tornadoes of flame burn 500-plus California structures

A wildfire that roared with little warning into a Northern California city claimed two lives as thousands of people scrambled to escape before the walls of flames descended from forested hills onto their neighborhoods, leaving at least 500 structures destroyed in its wake, officials said Friday.

Jury selection begins for accused cop killer Jonathan Renfro

They were firefighters, stay-at-home moms and young adults trying to start a career. All of them were among one of the biggest pools of jurors to be summoned in Kootenai County history to hear the first-degree murder trial of accused cop killer Jonathan Renfro.

Judge rejects Joseph Duncan’s death penalty appeal

Federal judges have rejected efforts to spare killer Joseph Duncan from the death penalty. A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Friday that a district judge correctly determined Duncan was mentally competent when he waived his right to appeal his death sentence. They also ruled it was too late for Duncan to change his mind two years later.

Serial killer Joseph Duncan is mentally competent, federal judge rules

BOISE – A federal judge has cleared the way for serial killer 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. There still could be further appeals, but U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge’s ruling Friday is a key step toward execution for Duncan, who’s been sentenced to death three times over and has been linked to the murder of children and adults. Lodge wrote in his 66-page ruling that he’s “presided over numerous competency hearings in my 50 years on the bench. While these decisions many times are difficult and hard to make because of the consequences that follow, the Court is firmly convinced that the conclusions stated in this order are correct.”

Joseph Duncan competency hearing nears end

BOISE – 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 killed a 9-year-old North Idaho boy after a murderous attack on the boy’s family, the long process that could lead to Duncan’s execution inched forward this week.

Duncan had eye on Spokane child

BOISE – 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 South Hill duplex with the boy’s mother while ogling the child. But the boy’s mother grew suspicious and the serial killer nonchalantly ignored her stares and calmly moved on.

Killer Joseph Duncan gets new hearing

BOISE – Joseph Duncan was sentenced to death three times over for crimes against a 9-year-old North Idaho boy he killed in 2005, and he initially and repeatedly said he had no interest in appealing his death sentence. But Duncan is still alive, and he’ll be back in an Idaho courtroom today. The reason: His court-appointed lawyers filed an appeal for him, arguing that the multiple murderer and child molester wasn’t mentally competent to waive his death-penalty appeals.

Killer’s competency appeal nears in federal court

As an appeal over the competency of a convicted child killer nears in Idaho's U.S. District Court, a judge is sorting out just what expert witnesses should be allowed to testify about in the case. Joseph Edward Duncan III was sentenced to death in 2008 after admitting he kidnapped and tortured two northern Idaho children before killing one of them. He gave up his appeals later that year, but his former attorneys argued that he wasn't mentally competent and fought the sentence on his behalf. A hearing on the matter will be held in Boise's U.S. District Court in January.