BOISE, Idaho - The family of a slain California boy should be spared the harrowing testimony that another trial of Joseph Edward Duncan III might produce, the father of Duncan's three young Idaho victims says.
Duncan, 45, was sentenced Monday in state and federal courts to six life prison terms in addition to the three death sentences and three other life sentences he received earlier for his 2005 rampage in which four members of a Coeur d'Alene family were murdered and a young brother and sister were kidnapped and sexually tortured.
Authorities in Riverside County, Calif., now want to try Duncan for the 1997 abduction and slaying of 10-year-old Anthony Martinez. But Steve Groene, father of Duncan victims Slade, Dylan and Shasta Groene, said after Monday's hearing that another trial could subject Anthony's loved ones to the same type of graphic evidence his family had to endure.
"I'm going to head down there myself to put an end to that," Groene told The Spokesman-Review newspaper of Spokane, Wash. "There's no reason to spend the taxpayers' money and there's no reason to drag Anthony Martinez's memory through the crap like they did Dylan's up here."
Ryan Hightower, spokesman for the Riverside County district attorney's office, told the newspaper, "We are already in the process of extraditing the defendant to California to stand trial, and our case will go forward as planned."
In August, a federal jury gave Duncan three binding death penalty sentences for the kidnapping, torture and murder of 9-year-old Dylan, who was snatched from his northern Idaho home on May 16, 2005, with his then 8-year-old sister Shasta and held for weeks at remote campsites in western Montana.
Duncan, a convicted pedophile originally from Tacoma, Wash., took the children after barging into the house and using a hammer to kill their 13-year-old brother, Slade, their mother, Brenda Groene, and her fiance, Mark McKenzie.
In state court Monday, Duncan was sentenced to three life terms for those murders. He had been sentenced in state court in 2006 to three life terms on kidnapping charges for binding all three victims before they were bludgeoned.
Shortly afterward, U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge sentenced Duncan to three more life terms, one for kidnapping Shasta, the lone survivor of the Duncan's violence, and one each for sexually abusing Shasta and her brother. Duncan pleaded guilty last December to the federal charges.
During his federal death penalty hearing, prosecutors described how Duncan spent weeks raping, torturing and threatening the two children before shooting Dylan in the head on June 22, 2005, burning his body and ordering Shasta to help bury the remains. Jurors also watched a horrifying video Duncan made of his sexually abusing, torturing and hanging Dylan until the boy lost consciousness.
After Dylan's death, Duncan took Shasta back to Coeur d'Alene, where the girl was rescued July 2, 2005, after a waitress spotted her at a restaurant.
Steve Groene said officials in California want another trial to boost their careers.
"This guy's doing it for personal reasons, not to get any kind of closure to the family or anything," Groene said. "There's no point spending that type of money so that somebody can fulfill their political aspirations."
The Riverside County district attorney's office did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press on Tuesday.