State News

Feb 26, 2014 5:19 PM

Death Sentence in Aggies' Siblings Slayings Upheld

HOUSTON (AP) - A former Marine's murder conviction and death sentence for the 2009 shooting deaths of his ex-girlfriend and her brother at College Station home has been upheld by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

The state's highest criminal court Wednesday rejected 45 claims of trial error raised by attorneys for 30-year-old John Thuesen. Many of the claims focused on objections his lawyers argued were overruled improperly by the trial judge and what his attorneys believed were improper jury instructions.

A Bryan jury convicted Thuesen of killing 21-year-old Rachel Joiner and her brother, Travis, 23, of Eldorado. The two were Texas A&M students.

Defense attorneys contended Thuesen suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after his service in Iraq. Brazos County prosecutors argued he was angry and jealous that Rachel Joiner was dating someone else.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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