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Associated Press, Published July 28 2008

Duncan hearing focuses on killer's legal team

BOISE, Idaho - A federal judge will allow convicted killer Joseph Duncan III to represent himself in his death penalty hearing.

U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge ruled Monday morning after repeatedly questioning Duncan about his wishes.

Duncan faces the death penalty on three of 10 federal charges related to the 2005 kidnapping of two northern Idaho children and the slaying of one of them. He lived in Fargo before his arrest.

In May, Lodge suspended the sentencing after Duncan asked for permission to drop his team of lawyers and serve as his own attorney. Lodge then ordered a series of mental health evaluations, then ruled last week that Duncan is at least mentally competent to take part in the sentencing phase of the case.

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