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Not guilty plea in murder case

Wearing a suit and tie but shackled by leg irons, Joseph A. Thomas Jr. pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges alleging he strangled his ex-wife.

The 37-year-old Pullman man and former Nez Perce County deputy sat quietly for much of the hearing, save to acknowledge the rights he has in the case and to plead not guilty to a felony first-degree murder charge that alleges he used a belt to strangle Beth M. Irby-Thomas at her Normal Hill home earlier this year.

Second District Judge John Stegner, of Moscow, Idaho, set a jury trial for Dec. 5.



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At last battle of Deep Creek re-enactment, Union and Confederacy return to Gettysburg

UPDATED: 10:08 p.m.

updated  With the thunderous crack of a cannon and the sulfurous pop of a musket, the Battle of Gettysburg was on. The Union soldiers, clad in various shades of blue, moved slowly up the hill to the tune of artillery fire drowning out a lonely trio of musicians playing the songs of war. Beneath them and occupying a small meadow, Confederate infantry men and women fired in unison to their superior’s command, each snap bringing a flurry of gun powder dancing in the air.