Posted: Jul 11, 2011 3:52 PM by Melissa Rafferty (KPAX News)
Updated: Jul 12, 2011 11:47 AM
The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ordered convicted child-killer Joseph Duncan back into court in Idaho, saying a federal judge should have ordered a competency hearing before allowing Duncan to waive his appeal of his death sentence.
The Spokesman Review newspaper reports that a competency hearing will be held to determine if Duncan was competent to waive his right to appeal his death sentence. If the answer is yes, then the death sentence will go forward. If not, a new sentencing trial will be held in federal court in Boise for his deadly attack on the Groene family in north Idaho.
Duncan was sentenced to die in 2008 for kidnapping, torturing and murdering 9-year-old Dylan Groene in 2005.
Prosecutors said Duncan snatched Dylan Groene and his 8-year-old sister Shasta from their north Idaho home after killing their older brother Slade, mother Brenda Groene and Brenda's fiance Mark McKenzie.
Duncan kept the children at a remote St. Regis, Montana campsite for several weeks before killing Dylan and returning with Shasta to Coeur d'Alene, where he was arrested.
On August 27, 2008, a federal jury sentenced Duncan to death.