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Prosecutor Asks Jury to Convict Pilcher in 1974 Slaying

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OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) - A prosecutor is asking jurors to convict a man of first-degree murder in the long unsolved slaying of a 17-year-old girl shot to death in an Iowa farmhouse in 1974.

Assistant Iowa attorney general Denise Timmins said in a closing argument Thursday that it is time to hold Robert "Gene" Pilcher responsible for the death of Mary Jayne Jones.

Timmins acknowledged that prosecutors didn't know how Pilcher lured the teenager to the home near Ottumwa. But she said jurors should piece together the circumstantial evidence like a puzzle and "see the big picture."

Timmins said Pilcher had a connection to the farmhouse and the time and opportunity to commit the crime. She said he's linked to the crime through DNA found in a semen stain on a blanket under Jones.

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