Murder trial of Robert Pilcher starts Tuesday in Ottumwa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Murder trial of Robert Pilcher starts Tuesday in Ottumwa

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OTTUMWA (AP) -

After a long weekend, the trial for an Iowa man charged in the 1974 slaying of a 17-year-old girl is expected to resume Tuesday.

Robert "Gene" Pilcher is standing trial in the death of Mary Jayne Jones, who was found beaten and shot to death in a farmhouse near Ottumwa.

Pilcher was a suspect in 1974, but never charged because of a lack of evidence. He was arrested 38 years later after testing linked his DNA to a semen-stained blanket where Mary Jayne's body was found.

Now 67, Pilcher has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. He says his semen came from a different sexual encounter at the home, which was owned by his cousin.

Tuesday opens the second week of the trial at the Wapello County Courthouse in Ottumwa.

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