Judge Delays Jury Selection In Murder Trial For 1974 Death

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By Richard Pratt

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) — Jury selection has resumed for a second day at the trial of a man charged with killing a teenage girl in an Iowa farmhouse in 1974.

Robert "Gene" Pilcher is charged in the slaying of 17-year-old Mary Jayne Jones, who was found naked and shot to death in the farmhouse outside Ottumwa.

The case went unsolved for decades. Investigators arrested Pilcher in 2012 after additional testing discovered his DNA on the sheets of the bed where Mary Jayne was found.

Pilcher's defense claims the DNA material is from another sexual encounter he had in the home, which was owned by his cousin.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers met privately for hours before jury selection resumed Wednesday afternoon. They're trying to select a 12-person jury out of a pool of 35.
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