BOISE, Idaho A young girl who is the sole survivor of a murderous 2005 attack on her family told detectives that Joseph Edward Duncan III raped her, tried to kill her and forced her to watch him torture, molest and kill her brother.
Federal court jurors on Tuesday watched an interview that sheriff's officers videotaped with then-8-year-old Shasta Groene soon after her rescue from the convicted pedophile.
Appearing composed and wrapped in a quilt decorated with teddy bears, she described her 9-year-old brother Dylan's death at a remote campsite in western Montana as beginning with an accidental shooting and ending with Duncan firing point-blank at the boy's head as he begged for his life.
Duncan was rooting through a plastic bin, looking for a cold beer, when a gun inside the bin accidentally went off and shot her brother in the stomach, Shasta said.
"He shot my brother right there," she said, motioning to her abdomen, "and my brother's guts were hanging out and we couldn't save him so he had to shoot him."
She also described how she and Dylan were raped and abused by Duncan, of Tacoma, Wash., whom she called "Jet."
The federal jury is to decide whether Duncan should be executed. He has pleaded guilty to 10 federal counts involving the kidnapping and torture of the children and Dylan's slaying. Three of those counts carry a potential death penalty.
He also faces a possible death penalty in a separate state case in which he pleaded guilty to murdering three other members of the siblings' family.
While it is The Associated Press' policy not to identify victims of sexual assault in most cases, the search for Shasta and her brother was so heavily publicized that their names are widely known.
The interview was taped at the Kootenai Medical Center, where Shasta was being treated shortly after she was spotted with Duncan on July 2, 2005, and rescued at a restaurant in Coeur d'Alene.
The children were abducted from their Coeur d'Alene area home in May 2005 after Duncan fatally bludgeoned their mother, Brenda Groene, their 13-year-old brother, Slade, and their mother's fiance, Mark McKenzie.
Duncan told them he committed the crimes because he believed God told him to, Shasta said, and because "he felt that he had to or the government was going to kill him the secret government."
She was left chained up at the campsite when Duncan took her brother to the old shack and brutally attacked him there, she said, but the man showed her a videotape of what happened when the two returned.
She told Mattos that video had been erased, adding, "If you guys got a hold of it you would probably be crying really hard. It was just a terrible movie."
But computer forensic experts were able to recover the movie from Duncan's computer equipment and it is expected to be shown to the jury during the death penalty hearing.
After Dylan was shot in the stomach, Duncan grabbed a shotgun and fired point-blank at the boy's head. When the gun didn't fire, Duncan reloaded and tried again, killing Dylan as he begged for his life, Shasta said. Duncan was crying at the time, she said.
"He (Duncan) was saying, 'Oh my God, oh my God' ... he was crying and screaming about it," she said.
Duncan cremated Dylan's body on the campfire and dumped his ashes into a culvert, she said.
Duncan ultimately decided to take her home because she taught him about God's love, she said. Duncan told the girl that he would take her to the Coeur d'Alene police station and turn himself in, but first he would take her to the library and to a movie.
"Well we were going to watch the movie, 'Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith' ... because he wanted to see a movie before he went to prison," she said.
He never got to the movie. Shasta was rescued and Duncan was arrested after a waitress at a Coeur d'Alene Denny's restaurant recognized the girl from a missing child poster and called police.
Duncan is acting as his own attorney at the penalty hearing. He has a long string of arrests and convictions for crimes ranging from car theft to rape and molestation. He is suspected in the slayings of two half-sisters from Seattle in 1996 and is charged with killing a young boy in Riverside County, Calif., in 1997.