updated 48 minutes ago
Child killer smiles as he gets death sentence
BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Joseph Edward Duncan III was sentenced to death for the 2005 kidnapping, torture and murder of a northern Idaho boy after the federal jury deliberated just three hours. The jurors' recommendation was binding on U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge, who thanked them, dismissed them and then issued the sentence Wednesday. Duncan showed no reaction, but he did smile as the verdict was passed to the judge.
Duncan murdered 13-year-old Slade Groene; his mother, Brenda Groene; and her fiancé, Mark McKenzie, in their Coeur d'Alene home. He then kidnapped Dylan and his then-8-year-old sister, Shasta Groene.
Duncan took the two deep into the Montana wilderness, where he sexually abused and tortured them for weeks. He ultimately shot Dylan point-blank in the head while Shasta watched. He was arrested after returning with Shasta to Coeur d'Alene, where a waitress recognized the girl as the two ate at a Denny's restaurant.
Duncan pleaded guilty to the three Idaho murders in state court in 2006. In January 2007, the federal government charged him with 10 felonies for the trauma he inflicted on Dylan and Shasta. Duncan pleaded guilty in December to those charges. Duncan also could face execution on state counts in the other three killings.