Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Feds Seek Death Penalty

It's official: Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Joseph Edward Duncan, III.

According to documents filed this morning in the case of U.S.A. v Joseph Edward Duncan, III, the United States government believes that the indictments for counts One, Five and Seven warrant the sentence of death, in the event of a conviction.

To recap (11-page document here):
Count One- Kidnapping Resulting in Death
Count Five- Sexual Exploitation of a Child Resulting in Death
Count Seven- Using a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence Resulting in Death

The Cellar Blog has purchased these documents and uploaded the pdf file here.

The United States intends to prove the following aggravating factors to justify putting Joseph Edward Duncan, III to death (note item D (2) (B) in red, bold text!)

A. Statutory Proportionality Factors Enumerated under 18 U.S.C. § 3591(a)(2)
The following statutory proportionality factors apply to each of Counts One, Five and Seven:

1. Intentional Acts to Take Life of Another Person. The defendant intentionally killed D.G. 18 U.S.C. § 3591(a)(2)(A).

2. Intentional Inflection of Serious Bodily Injury Resulting in Death. The defendant intentionally inflicted serious bodily injury that resulted in the death of D.G. 18 U.S.C. § 3591(a)(2)(B).

3. Intentional Acts to Take Life or Use Lethal Force. The defendant intentionally participated in an act, contemplating that the life of a person would be taken or intending that lethal force would be used in connection with a person, other than a participant in the offense, and D.G. died as a direct result of the act. 18 U.S.C. § 3591(a)(2)(C).

4. Intentional Acts of Violence Creating Grave Risk of Death. The defendant intentionally and specifically engaged in one or more acts of violence, knowing that the act or acts created a grave risk of death to a person, other than a participant in the offense, such that participation in such act or acts constituted a reckless disregard for human life, and D.G. died as a direct result of such act or acts. 18 U.S.C. § 3591(a)(2)(D).

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B. Statutory Aggravating Factors Enumerated Under 18 U.S.C. § 3592(c) Applicable to Each Count
The following statutory aggravating factors apply to each of Counts One, Five and Seven:

1. Death During Commission of Another Crime. The defendant caused the death of D.G. during the commission of a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1201 (kidnapping). 18 U.S.C. § 3592(c)(1).

2. Previous Conviction of Offense for Which a Sentence of Death or Life Imprisonment Was Authorized. The defendant has previously been convicted of another Federal or State offense resulting in the death of a person, for which a sentence of life imprisonment was authorized by statute, to-wit: first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping in case number CR F05-13674, Kootenai County, State of Idaho. 18 U.S.C. § 3592(c)(3).

3. Heinous, Cruel or Depraved Manner of Committing Offense. The defendant committed the offense in an especially heinous, cruel, and depraved manner, in that it involved torture and serious physical abuse to D.G. 18 U.S.C. § 3592(c)(6).

4. Substantial Planning and Premeditation. The defendant killed D.G. after substantial planning and premeditation to cause the death of D.G. 18 U.S.C. § 3592(c)(9).

5. Vulnerability of Victim. The defendant’s victim, D.G., was particularly vulnerable due to youth, to-wit: D.G. was 9 years old. 18 U.S.C. § 3592(c)(11).

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C. Statutory Aggravating Factors Enumerated Under 18 U.S.C. §3592(c) Applicable to Selected Counts
The following statutory aggravating factor applies to each of Counts One and Seven:

1. Previous Conviction of Violent Felony Involving Firearm. The defendant committed the offense charged after having been previously convicted of a Federal or State offense punishable by a term of imprisonment of more than 1 year, involving the use or attempted or threatened use of a firearm (as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 921) against another person, to-wit: rape in case number CR 57116, Pierce County, State of Washington. 18 U.S.C. § 3592(c)(2).

The following statutory aggravating factor applies to Count Five:
2. Prior Conviction of Sexual Assault or Child Molestation. The defendant committed the offense charged after having been previously convicted of a crime of sexual assault, to-wit: rape in case number CR 57116, Pierce County, State of Washington. 18 U.S.C. § 3592(c)(15).

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D. Other, Non-Statutory, Aggravating Factors Identified Under 18 U.S.C. § 3593(a)(2) Under 18 U.S.C. § 3593(a)(2), the following non-statutory aggravating factors apply to each of Counts One, Five and Seven:

1. Effect of the Offense on the Victim and the Victim’s Family.

a. In committing the offense, the defendant did cause emotional trauma toS.G. in that she witnessed the abuse and death of her brother, D.G., and was told by the defendant about how he killed her mother, Brenda Groene, her brother, Sl.G, and her mother’s boyfriend, Mark McKenzie.

b. In committing the offense, the defendant did cause emotional trauma to S.G. and her family by depriving them of D.G., Brenda Groene, Sl.G. and Mark McKenzie.

2. Future Dangerousness of the Defendant. The defendant is likely to commit criminal acts of violence in the future that would constitute a continuing and serious threat to the lives and safety of others as evidenced by, at least, one or more of the following:

a. Continuing Pattern of Violence. The defendant has engaged in a continuing pattern of violence, attempted violence, and threatened violence, including, at least, the crimes alleged against the defendant in the Indictment in Counts One, Two, Three, Four, Five and Seven, and the crimes of which the defendant was previously convicted, as described in paragraphs B2, C1 and C2.

b. Admission of Other Crimes Against Children. The defendant did commit the offense after having previously killed three other children, offenses for which he has not yet been prosecuted, to-wit: The defendant has confessed to killing S.W., age 11, and C.C., age 9. The children disappeared from Seattle, Washington, on July 6, 1996. The bones and teeth of these children were recovered by law enforcement in February 1998 in Bothell, Washington, and their deaths have been confirmed. The defendant confessed to abducting and killing A.M.M., age 10, in April of 1997. A.M.M. disappeared on April 4, 1997, from Beaumont, California. His body was recovered north of Indio, California, and his death has been confirmed.

c. Flight Risk. The defendant poses a future danger to the lives and safety of other persons, as demonstrated by his flight from Fargo, North Dakota, in April 2005 to avoid prosecution in the State of Minnesota on charges that he engaged in criminal sexual contact with a person under 13 and that he engaged in attempted criminal sexual contact with a person under 13, as charged in Case No. K3-05-389 in Becker County, Minnesota.

To view the complete, 7-page document filed this morning, click here.

Update 5:20 p.m. ET:
KXLY: Duncan admits guilt in California, Seattle-area murders

AP: Kidnap-slay suspect confesses to more killings

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Indicted: Will Plead Not Guilty

Joseph Edward Duncan, III was indicted today by a federal grand jury in Idaho for the kidnappings of the two youngest victims, aged 8 and 9, from Idaho, their sexual abuse, and the murder of one of them. He also faces charges relating to his illegal possession, transportation and use of firearms, as well as the earlier charges of transporting a stolen vehicle. This indictment will allow the feds to seek the death penalty, according to U.S. Attorney Tom Moss.

Roger Peven, Joseph Duncan's defense counsel, has said that his client will plead not guilty on Friday.

News of this indictment was released just hours after Riverside County DA Rod Pacheco announced they intend to charge Joseph Duncan with the kidnapping and murder of Anthony Martinez in 1997. They also plan to seek the death penalty.

The federal charges are as follows:

Count One- Kidnapping Resulting in Death

Count Two- Kidnapping

Count Three- Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Minor

Count Four- Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Minor

Count Five- Sexual Exploitation of a Child Resulting in Death

Count Six- Felon in Possession of a Firearm

Count Seven- Using a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence Resulting in Death

Count Eight- Transportation of a Stolen Firearm

Count Nine- Possession of an Unregistered Firearm

Count Ten- Transportation of a Stolen Vehicle

¤ The redacted 11-page indictment provided by the Spokesman-Review can be read here.
¤ The 3-page felony complaint from California can be read here, courtesy of KXLY. Also, KXLY's Melissa Luck explains today's developments (video).

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Federal Charges Filed in Idaho

Joseph Edward Duncan, III won't be going anywhere for a while. He cannot be extradited to California for murdering Anthony Martinez, to Washington for his alleged murders of Sammiejo White and Carmen Cubias, nor any other state that might be bringing charges against him- until the Feds are finished with him.

JED'll be sitting tight in Idaho now that the Feds have filed their first charges against him: for stealing the rental vehicle from Enterprise in St. Paul, Minnesota (the 4 page document is below in slideshow form). Joseph Duncan rented this vehicle on April 15, 2005. It was considered stolen when he did not return it by April 20, 2005, but was not reported as stolen until May 4, 2005.

The Feds have him all to themselves now, and I am confident they will have their pound of flesh. That red Jeep Cherokee Laredo he stole for his nasty adventure is being cleverly used to keep his ass in Idaho while the Feds cross their t's and dot their i's with the more serious charges.

It really is the little things that count.

Nice work, Special Agent Gneckow- and all those in Federal law enforcement concerned with ensuring Joseph Edward Duncan, III gets what he deserves.

Click on the slideshow below to read the 4-page document:

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Carnival of the True Crime Blogs #57

This week, it is my honor to bring you the 57th edition of the Carnival of the True Crime Blogs. Each week a different member of the True Crime Blogroll hosts this carnival, made up of True Crime Blogroll member submissions. Recently, we’ve begun to include submissions from outside the TC Blogroll, so if you like what you see on a non-TC Blogroll blog, be sure to bookmark them!

I’ll begin this Carnival with one such submission. Leon of Sox First, a business blog heavy on corporate crime, has an entry up titled The Top Scams of 2006. He supplies links to a few respected organizations’ Top Scams lists from the past year, as well as a must-read article about the internet changing the “con.” Thanks, Leon!

Trench of Mycrimespace.com notes an irony concerning a Craigslist CEO and Net Neutrality in his People in Glass Houses entry. MyCrimespace.com, “a place for fiends,” contains nearly 800 entries concerning crime connected to social networking websites like MySpace, YouTube, Craigslist, etc. And it’s definitely worth ignoring your chores for a few hours’ reading.

MySpace: A Place for the Missing is a recent entry by contributing author Stephen McCaskill at Crimeblog.us. He writes of the advantages of using MySpace as a tool for missing persons. McCaskill is also the author of Crime Scene Blog, and was recently interviewed by the True Crime Blogroll for a new series of blogger interviews we have begun.

Author Nene Adams of The Year ‘Round brings us 19th century true crime which, while often horrifying, is delivered with her distinctly genteel panache. This week her Appearances are Deceptive entry recounts a rage-filled double slaying from 1846 Ireland.

Domestic Violence is the focus at Home Sweet Home. A Night of Horror tells the developing story of a man who allegedly murdered his wife and her daughter, and injured her son last week. The son allegedly killed the stepfather in self-defense. The details are still not fully known, but there certainly seems to be much more to this than a guy who “snapped.”

Pias from HOTT writes 2006: The year in Review where she details the most-viewed crime stories from her blog by month. Take a good long look at these cases, as many of them are unresolved and she’s asking for your tips.

This next one has a lot of people angry; might want to check your blood pressure before reading this one. Parents Behaving Badly writes about another fine mother in Nancy Dyer Naps as Toddler Takes Stroll on Interstate. How's that blood pressure now?

Bonnie’s Blog of Crime focuses on murder, and she has many entries about missing/abducted and murdered children and adults. This week, she has compiled a list of high-profile murder cases from Utah in her entry 2006: The year of murder in Utah review.

Our upstairs neighbor Harding from T. O. Crime writes about a street corner in Toronto where violence is not rare. He also includes a video in his New Year’s in Toronto: A True Crime Story.

Thank you all for the submissions for this first Carnival of 2007. If anyone would like more information about the True Crime Blogroll and our Carnivals, please visit our website.