- Associated Press - Thursday, April 2, 2015

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) - A judge set bond at $1 million for a former Nez Perce County sheriff’s deputy granted a new trial after the Idaho Supreme Court vacated his first-degree murder conviction in a case involving the strangling death of his ex-wife.

The Lewiston Tribune reports (https://bit.ly/1G7hfGA) that a 2nd District Court Judge also on Wednesday ordered Joseph Thomas Jr. to surrender his passport if he posts bond.

Thomas was convicted in December 2011 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 in vacating the conviction cited excluded evidence from friends who said Beth Irby-Thomas liked to be choked into unconsciousness.

The new trial is scheduled to start Oct. 5.

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Information from: Lewiston Tribune, https://www.lmtribune.com

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