A convicted child killer accused in the kidnapping-murder of a 10-year-old Beaumont boy told an Indio judge today that he needs more time to prepare for trial.
“I’m not ready,” said 47-year-old Joseph Edward Duncan III, who is acting as his own attorney. “Not even close.”
Duncan, who has already been sentenced to death for the slaying of a boy in Idaho, is representing himself against first-degree murder and other charges stemming from the April 1997 kidnap-slaying of Anthony Martinez.
He could receive another death sentence if convicted in the Riverside County case.
Superior Court Judge David Downing indicated today that he plans to try the case no later than September 2011.
“This case is going to go no later than September of next year. That gives you a year,” Downing told Duncan.
The judge recently allocated funds for Duncan to have access to a personal laptop to help prepare his defense.
Duncan told the judge he can start to prepare for trial because of the computer access.
“To be honest, the way things are going right now, I don’t think I’m ever going to be ready, unless something changes,” said Duncan, who has not received all of the documents from the federal case in Idaho.
Supervising Deputy District Attorney Otis Sterling said his office is in the process of redacting witness names and information from documents from the Idaho case.
Downing, who expressed displeasure that prosecutors have had 18 months and still haven’t handed over all the documents in the federal case, set a Jan. 14 hearing to check on the prosecution’s progress.