The Ottumwa Courier

Ottumwa

January 22, 2014

Last witnesses take stand

(Continued)

So, asked prosecutor Timmins, would you have been jealous that Jones had a boyfriend? No, that wouldn't have bothered me, he said. Would it have stopped him from hooking up with someone? No, he admitted, it wouldn't have.

Things were different then, Nichols said. He is now a retired home improvement salesman, has five children and has been married more than 30 years.

"Did you have anything to do with the death of Mary Jayne Jones?" Timmins asked.

"Absolutely not," Nichols said. "Absolutely not."

When approached by police in 1974, he cooperated, Timmins noted. And though he was surprised to be contacted by a criminal investigator, he did so again in 2012.

"I had nothing to hide," Nichols said. "I wanted to help. I still want to help."

Both sides have now rested. Thursday morning, the jury will get their instructions on how to come up with a verdict. Then the attorneys will make closing arguments. The jurors will get any last-minute instructions from the judge and could begin deliberations the same day.

— News reporter Mark Newman is on Twitter @couriermark

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