COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — A federal court judge denied convicted serial killer Joseph Duncan’s petitions to vacate his three death penalty sentences.

Fourteen years ago, Duncan murdered a Coeur d'Alene family before kidnaping and molesting two of the family's children. Duncan, a convicted sex offender, murdered Brenda Groene, her boyfriend and son at their home near Coeur d'Alene. Shasta Groene and her brother Dylan were kidnapped by Duncan and molested. Dylan was eventually murdered.

In December 2007, Duncan pleaded guilty in connection to the murders. On August 27, 2008, a jury found Duncan eligible for the death penalty on all three counts of murder and the court immediately imposed the death sentences. On November 3, 2008, Duncan was sentenced to multiple terms of life imprisonment and terms of 120 months imprisonment on the remaining crimes.

After the proceedings, Duncan filed a civil petition raising 12 post-conviction claims challenging his sentences.

On Friday, U.S. District court officials said a judge denied Duncan’s post-conviction claims and upheld his convictions and sentences on all counts except for one death sentence.

The court has taken one of the death sentences under advisement pending the resolution of a legal question being considered by appellate courts.

The court will decide on the third death penalty count after the appellate courts issued their rulings.

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