Death sentence in Aggies' siblings slayings upheld

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Associated Press

Posted on February 27, 2014 at 8:32 AM

HOUSTON (AP) — A former Marine's murder conviction and death sentence for the 2009 shooting deaths of his ex-girlfriend and her brother at a 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 from 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.

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