​1974 Farmhouse Slaying [Photo] Case Continues With Jury​​

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January 29, 2021

World News

The 1974 farmhouse slaying case involving a 17-year-old girl in Iowa are deadlocked on Jan. 28. The trial of a man charged in the slaying is 67-year-old Robert “Gene” Pilcher. Judge Richard Meadows ordered the jury to continue deliberations.

The jury of the 1974 case involving a farmhouse slaying of a 17-year-old girl in Iowa are deadlocked

Prosecutors accuse Pilcher of fatally shooting Mary Jayne Jones at his cousin’s farmhouse while his cousin was away. Authorities arrested Pilcher in 2012 after tests linked his DNA to semen stains on a blanket that was under Jones’ body.

However, Pilcher insists that he is innocent of these crimes. He claims that the semen that was on the blanket came from a previous sexual encounter that had taken place at the abode days before the tragedy. Prosecutors have been unable to offer up any other evidence that links Pilcher to Jones’ death.

Pilcher’s attorney, Allen Cook, informed jurors during his opening remarks that his client wasn’t responsible for the teenager’s murder. He also added that some other semen that was found on the blanket came from a man that is still yet to be identified.

Cook stated, “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. Undeserving as it is, that’s what we believe.”

At the time of her death, Jones was working at Henry’s Drive-In restaurant. She had originally moved to Iowa from North Carolina in 1973 to live with her sister.

Investigators confirmed that she was beaten with a gun before being shot twice with a rifle, once in the head and another time in the heart.

Pilcher is the prosecutor’s main suspect to have conducted the attack because he had easy access to the building, was a regular to Henry’s, and had asked Jones out on several dates, all of which she had rebuffed. Pilcher was also accused of sexually assaulting another woman in the same room four days earlier too.

Pilcher wasn’t charged earlier with the crime because officers couldn’t find “a direct link.” However, after the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation re-examined the case in 2010, they conducted tests on the 38-year-old semen-stained blanket, which has since been used as key evidence against Pilcher.