Court Upholds Death Sentence In Central Texas Double Murder

John Thuesen in court. (File)

(February 26, 2014) The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Wednesday upheld the death sentence of former Marine and Iraq war veteran John Thuesen, 30, who was convicted of killing a brother and sister who attended Texas A&M University.

Rachael Kate Joiner, 21, and her brother, Travis Wilson Joiner, 23 of Eldorado, were gunned down in March 2009 in the home they shared in College Station.

Rachel Joiner was Theusen’s ex-girlfriend.

Prosecutors suggested he was jealous after seeing her with another former boyfriend.

Defense attorneys contended that he was mentally impaired and didn't mean to kill the pair.

Thuesen has been diagnosed with severe depression, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of his service as a Marine in Iraq, where he saw heavy combat.

The state's highest criminal court Wednesday rejected 45 claims of trial error from Thuesen’s attorneys, many of which focused on objections his lawyers argued were overruled improperly by the trial judge and what his attorneys believed were improper jury instructions.