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Joseph Edward Duncan Plea Agreement

  • Joseph Edward Duncan Plea AgreementMore>>

  • Duncan: 'I have nothing to say'

    Duncan: 'I have nothing to say'

    Monday, October 16 2006 3:22 PM EDT2006-10-16 19:22:11 GMT
    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Joseph Duncan sat mostly still and silent during his plea deal hearing in Coeur d'Alene.  The only words he spoke were one-word answers in response to the judge's questions.More >>
    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Joseph Duncan sat mostly still and silent during his plea deal hearing in Coeur d'Alene.  The only words he spoke were one-word answers in response to the judge's questions.More >>
  • Duncan Plea Deal

    Duncan agrees to open encrypted computer files

    Duncan agrees to open encrypted computer files

    Monday, October 16 2006 2:33 PM EDT2006-10-16 18:33:41 GMT
    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - The plea agreement that sent Joseph E. Duncan to life in prison without parole on Monday may also lead to closure for other families indirectly tied to the Coeur d'Alene case.More >>
    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - The plea agreement that sent Joseph E. Duncan to life in prison without parole on Monday may also lead to closure for other families indirectly tied to the Coeur d'Alene case.More >>

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Joseph E. Duncan pleaded guilty to 3 counts of kidnapping and 3 counts of murder on Monday morning.  A judge immediately sentenced him to three terms of life in prison without parole on the kidnapping charges.  Sentencing on the murder charges were delayed pending the outcome of Duncan's federal trial.

Captain Ben Wolfinger with the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department said the 14-section plea agreement is different from the proposal floated last week by the defense.  By delaying sentencing on the murder charges, if Duncan is not sentenced to death by the federal government, the State of Idaho can retain him and possibly sentence him to death on the state charges.

Family members of the victims said the plea agreement and life sentences are a relief after months of heartache.

"I feel we can move on, now that we're one step closer to finding closure," said Jesse Groene, brother of Dylan, Slade and Shasta Groene.

After the sentencing, reporters asked Groene what he would like to say to Duncan, but Groene replied, "I can't say that on live TV.  Sorry about that."

The tears flowed freely in the post-sentencing news conference outside the Public Safety Building.  Steve Groene, Shasta's father, held a white dry erase board and wrote that he would like to thank all those who supported him.  He could not speak after having undergone throat surgery for cancer.

Brenda Groene's mother, Darlene Torres, was also pleased with the outcome of the agreement. 

"I'm glad we're getting this first step over, and hopefully the rest of it goes quick," said Torres.  "There's nothing that's going to bring my family back, but I know justice will be served."

But while many, including Darlene Torres, believe Monday's outcome was a victory for Shasta, the family was clearly uncomfortable sitting in the same room with the man who killed their loved ones.

"What was it like sitting in the same room with Duncan," asked a reporter.  Torres paused, then said, "It was like sitting in the same room with the devil."

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