Convicted Child Killer Returns to Court
A convicted child killer is back in court to see if he was mentally competent when he waived his right to appeal his death sentence. Joseph Edward Duncan is sentenced to death after five murders in Idaho, Montana and here in California.Photo: Video by kmir6.com
A convicted child killer is back in court to see if he was mentally competent when he waived his right to appeal his death sentence.
Joseph Edward Duncan is sentenced to death after five murders in Idaho, Montana and here in California.
In 2011, he was convicted in the abduction, torture and murder of a 10-year-old Beaumont boy.
Duncan was then sent back to federal prison to await execution, but the Court of Appeals said he needed a competency hearing.
In 1997, Anthony Martinez was abducted from his Beaumont home.
His body was found the Indio Hills.
In 2011, Anthony's mother saw Joseph Duncan sentenced for her son's brutal murder.
"To me he is not human, he's not like anyone ever that I've ever known, read about, anything he just seems like evil to me, just a figure of what evil really is," said Anthony's mother, Diana Reed in April 2011.
The prosecution said Duncan wanted to punish society after he was jailed in the 1980s for rape.
"To hurt society in the worst way he could, which was the murder and rape of a child," said prosecuting attorney, Otis Sterling in April 2011.
Duncan was sentenced to death in federal court in Idaho for the abduction and murder of 9-year-old Dylan Groene.
Dylan's sister, Shasta, was rescued.
But her parents and older brother were also found killed in their Idaho home.
Duncan said he was guilty, and waived his right to an appeal.
But his defense attorney's argue he wasn't mentally competent to make that decision.
Now that hearing is underway.
Back in spring of 2011, Riverside county prosecutors took the death sentence off the table for a plea deal that resulted in two life sentences for Duncan here in California.
"The type of case that I go home, and have nightmares about, I spent many a nights preparing for this case and literally brought to my knees, and cried my eyes out," said Sterling in 2011.
"In 31 years of being involved in the criminal justice system, I have never met a more evil person than Joseph Duncan," said Judge David Downing at Duncan's sentencing in April 2011.
So now Duncan is back in court, this time in Idaho, where a judge will decide if Duncan was mentally competent when he waived his right to appeal the death sentence. The hearing on Duncan's mental competency is expected to last about two weeks.