A former Nez Perce County sheriff’s deputy convicted last week of strangling his ex-wife to death in Lewiston wants a new trial.
The attorney for Joseph Thomas filed a motion Thursday in 2nd District Court, where Thomas was found guilty last week of first-degree murder in the death of his former wife, Beth Irby-Thomas. Thomas is to be sentenced March 2.
Irby-Thomas was found at her Normal Hill home May 1 with a belt wrapped tightly around her neck. During trial, prosecutors argued Thomas killed his ex-wife, while he claimed she died accidentally while practicing autoerotic asphyxiation.
Defense attorney Paul Thomas Clark claims Thomas was deprived of a fair trial for reasons that included the judge’s order limiting references to the sexual behavior, and a denial of a request to have a psychologist examine Thomas for post traumatic stress disorder, which Clark says may have contributed to his actions.
Meanwhile, Clark filed a motion to withdraw as Thomas’ attorney, citing Thomas’ family’s inability to pay for the trial. (AP)