The Ottumwa Courier

Wapello County

January 8, 2013

Suspect pleads not guilty; trial set in 1974 murder case

OTTUMWA — The suspect in a decades-old murder case pleaded not guilty, and his trial will begin in May, 39 years and one month after the murder occurred.

Robert Eugene Pilcher, 66, of Des Moines, was charged with first-degree murder in November after DNA evidence linked him to the 38-year-old murder of Mary Jayne Jones, 17, in a farmhouse west of Ottumwa.

Last month, Pilcher filed a written arraignment and plea of not guilty.

His pretrial conference is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. April 15 and his trial will begin at 9:30 a.m. May 7.

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