The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

January 16, 2014

Several witnesses called in Pilcher trial


If Jones was indeed lying down, that would explain why Division of Criminal Investigations (DCI) agents at the scene in 1974 found the two bullets directly under where they exited her body into the bed she was lying on. Michael Peterson, a former DCI agent who was on the scene in 1974, testified Thursday that agents found one bullet in the foam pad and one bullet that had went through the bed and floor and was found in the dirt under the floor.

The other witnesses called to the stand Thursday included Diana Fairchild. She is the ex-wife of Pilcher, and the two were married in 1974. Part of her testimony was that Pilcher picked her up from her job at approximately 5 p.m. on the day of the murder, but she did not notice anything suspicious from his behavior and did not recollect ever having to wash blood off of his clothing.

Another ex-lover, and the only person who has ever heard Pilcher mention possibly killing someone in the Ottumwa area, also took the stand Thursday. Kim Armstrong, who was in a relationship with Pilcher for six or seven years until 2012, claimed in her testimony that Pilcher had told her that he had “offed someone” in the Ottumwa area “many years earlier.”

Armstrong claimed that Pilcher mentioned "offing someone" while the two were under the influence of crack cocaine. She has also admitted to huffing paint every day for years and taking several other drugs.

Pilcher and Armstrong, according to her, would often get high and talk about their inner feelings, and usually he would tell stories that she never believed, except for the story about Ottumwa.

The trial will continue Friday morning at 9 a.m., and then will be out of session until Tuesday. Court will not be in session on Monday due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

— To see reporter Josh Vardaman's Twitter feed, go to @CourierJosh


Text Only
Local News
  • 0731 OTT Aviation plane -T -M Flying free OTTUMWA — The financial obstacle may have been removed if your career goal starts with learning to fly. "We have it set up for three terms, about nine months," said pilot and chief flight instructor Darren Graham at Indian Hills Community College. "

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Supervisors discuss pipeline potential KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Supervisors received preliminary, general information on a new pipeline being proposed to carry oil from North Dakota through Iowa, including Van Buren County, then crossing into Illinois. The proposed Bakken Pipeline wou

    July 30, 2014

  • Fairfield stabbing suspects' trials separated FAIRFIELD — The three people accused of dragging a man into a Fairfield apartment before robbing and stabbing him have had a judge grant their requests to separate their trials. Dawn Dunn, Dustin Roll and Brett Hedblade are each charged with willful

    July 30, 2014

  • Local business donates grain rescue tube KEOSAUQUA — Stockport Elevator, owned by Roquette America, donated a grain rescue tube to Birmingham and Stockport Fire Departments. A training session was conducted Monday, led by Dale Ekdahl, a representative of Outstate Data, LLC, the device’s man

    July 30, 2014

  • Where do my taxes go? OTTUMWA — Wapello County Board certified its tax levy. But what does that mean? Based on budgets submitted by various levying authors, the Wapello County Auditor prepares and certifies the levy rates for the county. Budgets for each levy are based on

    July 30, 2014

  • OCSD releases elementary supplies list

    OTTUMWA — For years, parents of the students in Ottumwa's elementary schools have had to check to make sure the school supplies list they grabbed was the right one for their school. No more.

    July 30, 2014

  • Reducing runoff at the local level AGENCY — Pollution isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you look out at a field of Iowa corn or soybeans, but there’s growing concern about what manages to get out of the fields and into the water. The same nutrients that benefit the crops c

    July 30, 2014

  • Supervisors wrestle with staffing woes KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Supervisor Chairman Bob Waugh says he wants county supervisors to help alleviate staffing problems within the county treasurer’s office. In May, supervisors opted not to replace a vacancy within the treasurer’s office. Va

    July 30, 2014

  • 0730 OTT Better Buildings -T -M Wildwood could be your home OTTUMWA — There was always one child per class who just adored school. If they went to Wildwood, they may soon be able to move in permanently. The Ottumwa board of education met Monday, where staff told them where the district stood as far as "facili

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • A changing roster -- for school board OTTUMWA — If the last time you saw your board of education was before Christmastime, the current school board might surprise you. Two members retired from the board: longtime educator Ron Oswalt stepped down, as did board president Carol Mitchell. Bo

    July 29, 2014

Photo reprints