BOISE - The prosecution called Steve Groene to the stand today in the sentencing phase of the case against Joseph Duncan. Groene is the ex-husband of one of Duncan's murder victims and the father of three other victims.
Groene responded to questions by using an electronic voice box after throat cancer forced the removal of his larynx.
Among the exhibits shown during his testimony were letters written by 9-year old Dylan Groene and 8-year old Shasta Groene while they were in Duncan's captivity. One letter from Shasta read (in part) "I miss you very much. We know what happened to mom."
Another letter from Shasta to her dad read, "I have good news. We will be coming home soon."
Groene told the jury he never received these letters. They were collected as evidence from Duncan's belongings.
Groene maintained his composure during his brief testimony, but audibly sobbed later in the hearing as the duct tape and zip ties that bound his ex-wife, her boyfriend and Groene's 13-year old son Slade were entered as exhibits. The three were bound then bludgeoned to death with a framing hammer.
While Shasta survived the kidnapping, Dylan did not.
Duncan has refrained from cross examining any of the witnesses that have so far taken the stand.