The Ottumwa Courier

November 22, 2012

Man charged in 1974 murder waives preliminary hearing


Ottumwa Courier

OTTUMWA — The man charged in the 1974 murder of Mary Jayne Jones waived his preliminary hearing Wednesday morning.

Robert Eugene Pilcher, 66, of Des Moines, was set to appear in court Wednesday for the preliminary hearing regarding his first-degree murder charge. No further court dates have been set at this time.

Jones was sexually assaulted and shot to death in a farmhouse west of Ottumwa in April 1974. At the time, Pilcher had been interviewed by investigators, but was released.

Pilcher was arrested at a hotel in Des Moines last week after DNA evidence from the murder was linked to his DNA profile in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), a database in which DNA from all convicted felons in the state is registered.

Pilcher is currently being held on $1 million cash-only bond in Wapello County Jail.