ID. Court of Appeals upheld murder conviction for Joe Thomas Junior

BOISE, ID - A former Nez Perce County Sheriff's deputy will not be getting out of prison anytime soon after the Idaho Court of Appeals upheld his 1st-degree murder conviction.

Joe Thomas Junior, 40, was convicted in December 2011 for strangling his ex-wife Beth Irby-Thomas. He was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison, however Thomas has been trying to appeal the conviction.

The key issue at trial was whether Thomas murdered his wife by strangulation, or whether the victim accidentally strangled herself while engaging in self-erotic asphyxiation. Thomas argues Lewiston's District Court excluded evidence that would've supported his self-erotic asphyxiation theory.

The Idaho Court of Appeals says quote: "district court errored in excluding evidence that the victim previously engaged in erotic asphyxiation. However, this error was harmless. Thus, Thomas's judgment of conviction for first-degree murder is affirmed." end quote.