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Associated Press, Published February 05 2009

Judge: Duncan should stand trial

INDIO, Calif. – A judge has ruled that a man convicted of a deadly attack on an Idaho family in 2005 should stand trial in the 1997 slaying of a 10-year-old boy in Riverside County, Calif.

Joseph Edward Duncan III faces another death penalty if convicted of the murder of Anthony Martinez, who disappeared nearly 12 years ago as he played with his brother in an alley.

On Tuesday, Riverside County Superior Court Judge David B. Downing also ordered a court psychiatrist to meet with Duncan to determine if he’s competent enough to act as his own attorney.

Duncan, 45, was convicted in the 2005 slayings of four members of an Idaho family. The former Fargo man was given three death sentences and multiple life terms in separate state and federal court proceedings related to those crimes.

Defense attorneys had argued that Duncan should not be tried again in Riverside County because federal prosecutors used Anthony’s death in the previous case to argue that Duncan had a history of crime and violence. The defense filed a motion saying that trying Duncan in California would be double jeopardy.

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