After her older brother was shot in the head, his remains were burned in front of her, an 8-year-old girl told a police officer in a gut-wrenching tape played for jurors deciding whether a convicted sex offender should die for his crimes.
Joseph Edward Duncan III stalked the Groene family and killed four of its five members.
Shasta Groene spoke to Coeur d'Alene police Officer Shane Avriett on July 2, 2005, shortly after she was rescued from weeks of torture and despair.
Avriett testified Thursday that he turned on his vehicle's dashboard-mounted video camera, with the camera pointed away from Shasta, and recorded her talking about her ordeal.
When Avriett asked where her 9-year-old brother Dylan was, she told him, "in heaven ... there may be some evidence down in the Lolo forest, because that's where we were."
She cried as she told Avriett how Joseph Edward Duncan III shot her brother in the stomach at a campsite, then shot him again in the head and burned the body.
"He's killed way a lot more people that you don't even know about," Shasta told the officer. "He killed Dylan."
The testimony came on the second day of the sentencing hearing for Duncan, 45, who faces either life in prison or death. The convicted pedophile from Tacoma, Washington, pleaded guilty in December to 10 federal charges related to the kidnapping of Shasta and Dylan. Three of the counts carry a potential death penalty.
Filed under: Crime & Punishment
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