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1974 farmhouse slaying: Jurors deadlocked in Robert ‘Gene’ Pilcher trial

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The jurors in a 1974 farmhouse slaying case cannot agree on a verdict, according to a Jan. 28 Fox News report. The murder trial case stems from charges related to Robert “Gene” Pilcher’s shooting of Mary Jayne Jones at his cousin’s Iowa farmhouse in 1974. 67-year-old Pilcher was arrested in 2012 after his DNA was linked to semen stains on a blanket found under 17-year Jones’ body.

According to the Inquisitr, Judge Richard Meadows told the deadlocked jury on Tuesday to continue their deliberations in the case. The jurors began deliberating last Thursday, following Pilcher’s attorney, Allen Cook’s contentions that his client was not responsible for the murder.

“I think, generally, the defense theory would be that Mary Jayne Jones got involved with somebody that she didn’t know was dangerous, somebody she trusted, and she paid the ultimate price,” Cook told the jury in his opening statement, adding, “Undeserving as it is, that’s what we believe.”

The semen on the blanket is the main evidence linking Pilcher to the crime. Though Pilcher was not arrested at the time of the crime, he is at the top of the prosecutor’s list for his access to the victim. He reportedly was a regular at her place of employment and had asked her out on multiple dates, all of which she had refused. Of significance is the fact that Pilcher had been accused of sexually assaulting another woman in the same room only four days earlier, the Inquisitr reports.