Serial killer who murdered Beaumont boy found competent for trial

Started by turboprinz, December 20, 2013, 03:31:39 AM

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December 18, 2013

Joseph Edward Duncan III, who murdered 10-year-old Anthony Martinez of Beaumont in 1997, has been judged as competent to stand trial in the deaths of four family members in Idaho, according to a U.S. District Judge.

Duncan, 50, could be cleared for execution.

Duncan was found competent on Friday, Dec. 6 by Idaho U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge to stand trial in the deaths of Brenda Groene, Slade Groene, Dylan Groene and Mark McKenzie in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho.

He was found competent in 2008 during his federal trial and given three death sentences and nine life terms in prison.

Duncan's death penalty was placed on hold in July 2011 by a federal appeals court, which said that he should have been given a competency hearing before waiving his right to appeal for a federal conviction.

He underwent a six-week retrospective competency hearing beginning in January 2013.

The competency hearing was the last appeal pending before Duncan's execution. His attorneys have 14 days to ask the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to review the Dec. 6 ruling.

An execution date could be set in several months if a new appeal is not heard.

Duncan is on federal death row in Terre Haute, Ind.

After his 2008 federal trial, Duncan was brought to Indio to face trial for Anthony Martinez's murder. The boy was kidnapped while playing outside of his Beaumont home in 1997.

Duncan was found competent during a Riverside County trial in 2009. He pleaded guilty in April 2011 to Anthony's murder to avoid an additional death penalty.

Duncan was given two additional life sentences and waived all appeals to his sentence in Anthony's death.
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