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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Supreme Court has vacated the first-degree murder conviction of a former Nez Perce County sheriff's deputy found guilty of strangling his ex-wife.
The justices in a decision announced Friday ruled that the lower court erred by excluding evidence in Joseph Thomas Jr.'s trial that could have corroborated his claim that Beth Irby-Thomas liked to engage in erotic asphyxiation.
Thomas was convicted in December 2011 in 2nd District Court of strangling Beth Irby-Thomas and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Irby-Thomas was found dead with a belt around her neck on May 1, 2011.
The justices cited excluded evidence from friends who said Beth Irby-Thomas liked to be choked into unconsciousness.
The Nez Perce County Prosecutor's Office didn't return a call from The Associated Press on Friday.
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