40-year-old murder case will head to trial next week

Murder suspect Robert Pilcher appeared in a Wapello County courtroom Wednesday in advance of his trial that begins in less than a week.

The 67-year-old Pilcher is accused of murdering 17-year-old Mary Jayne Jones in 1974. Pilcher was interviewed as part of the initial investigation, but he wasn't arrested until November of 2012, when DNA evidence linked him to the crime.

Pilcher's attorneys and the prosecution met before Judge Richard Meadows Wednesday afternoon for a motions hearing and general housekeeping before the trial begins.

Both the defense and prosecution had the opportunity to resist any motions made by the other side, which included the calling of certain witnesses, the inclusion of specific evidence and how to phrase voir dire questions to potential jurors.

The defense, the state and Judge Meadows all agreed the trial would last about a week.

Pilcher continues to be held in the Wapello County Jail on a $1 million bond.