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1974 farmhouse slaying: Murder trial jury deadlocked on 1974 farmhouse case

Robert Pilcher is accused of murdering Mary Jayne Jones in 1974.
Robert Pilcher is accused of murdering Mary Jayne Jones in 1974.
Wapello County Sherriff

A 1974 farmhouse slaying has taken center stage in Iowa now. The 1974 farmhouse slaying of Mary Jayne Jones is in front of a jury that has just deadlocked. According to a report from Tuesday (Jan. 28), 67-year-old Robert Pilcher is on trial for the murder after getting arrested and charged in the case back in 2012. At the time, tests linked his DNA to semen stains that were found at the scene of the crime.

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The deadlocked jury was sent back to deliberate some more by Judge Richard Meadows and that is exactly what they did for a few more hours on Tuesday. Everyone was sent home with the expectation of returning to court to continue the deliberations on Wednesday (Jan. 29).

The prosecution in this case is claiming that Pilcher committed the crimes at his cousin's house while that cousin was away. His claim is that the stains on the blanket found under Jones were from a previous sexual encounter and that he is innocent of the charges. The difficulty for the prosecution was presenting any additional evidence that could directly link him to this crime.

The decision placed in front of jurors is whether they believe that the story Robert Pilcher is telling is true about the 1974 farmhouse slaying or whether the prosecutions version of events is more plausible. The jury will be back on Wednesday to continue debating how 17-year-old Mary Jayne Jones was killed all those years ago.

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