Experts: Dylan’s Shooting No Accident

BOISE – Joseph Duncan called the murder of young Dylan Groene an accident but forensic experts with the FBI proved there was no way he could have accidentally shot and killed the boy.

In a taped interview shown to the jury Tuesday Shasta Groene told detectives that Joseph Duncan said Dylan’s shooting was an accident.

When Duncan’s 12-gauge shotgun was recovered it went through a series of test at an FBI laboratory and an expert took the stand Wednesday said that they tried several times using various methods to make the shotgun go off by accident and it never did. The FBI agent said he had to apply a normal trigger pull of about five pounds of pressure to get the weapon to fire.

The testimony puts into doubt Duncan’s story that he shot Dylan by accident. In Shasta’s interview Duncan had said that Duncan was searching for a beer in a box when the shotgun accidentally went off, striking Dylan in the abdomen.

Shasta said in the taped interview that Duncan told her he had to then shoot Dylan in the head because there was nothing more they could do for him.

However a forensic pediatrician who testified Wednesday says that isn’t necessarily true. Based on Shasta’s description of Dylan’s first shotgun injury, it’s likely Dylan could’ve survived had Duncan taken him to a hospital.

The doctor called it a “potentially salvageable injury.”

Duncan then attempted to cross examine the doctor, asking if it was possible Shasta exaggerated her story. During his line of questioning Duncan fumbled after four questions, saying “I’m not good at this, I appreciate your testimony.”

Federal prosecutors also showed jurors a piece of Dylan’s skull found near the campsite, with jurors showing no visible reaction. Duncan however reacted, strongly objecting twice and Judge Edward Lodge overruling him twice. Jurors were also shown a log with a handwritten note reading “Please do not disturb” that Duncan used to block a road.

The jury also heard testimony from a doctor who examined Dylan’s remains, which included 1,700 tiny bone fragments recovered from a fire pit and a culvert near Duncan’s campsite in Montana.