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1974 farmhouse slaying: Why can’t jurors agree on a verdict?

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The story of a 1974 farmhouse slaying is making headlines around the country. Jurors in the case say they have not been able to agree on a verdict in the case, the DesMoines Register reported Tuesday.

1974 farmhouse murder

The victim in the case was a 17-year-old girl who was shot to death at an Iowa farmhouse in 1974.

The judge in the case, Hon. Richard Meadows, told the jury to continue deliberating to try to reach a verdict to avoid a hung jury. The jury first began deliberating Thursday.

The defendant in the case is Robert “Gene” Pilcher, 67. Prosecutors say that Pilcher shot and killed Mary Jayne Jones at a farmhouse owned by one of his cousin. The cousin was away at the time of the shooting.

Cold case

The farmhouse murder was a cold case until 2012 when police arrested Pilcher after tests found that his DNA was in semen stains on a blanket that was under the murdered teenager’s body.

Innocent or guilty?

Pilcher claims he is innocent. He does not deny that the semen is his but says it came from a previous sexual encounter.

Little direct evidence

The Register reports that prosecutors have offered little other direct evidence linking Pilcher to the 1974 murder.

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