SAN FRANCISCO - A federal appeals court has affirmed the mental competency of a man sentenced to die for kidnapping, torturing and murdering an Idaho boy in 2005.
Joseph Edward Duncan III was convicted of killing several members of a Coeur d'Alene family before snatching their two young children.
Prosecutors said he tortured and abused the children in the Montana wilderness for weeks before killing 9-year-old Dylan Groene and returning with his younger sister to Idaho, where he was captured.
When he was sentenced to death, Duncan waived his right to appeal. Later he changed his mind.
On Friday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that Duncan validly waived his right to appeal and that his decision to withdraw that waiver "came too late."