Prosecutors face challenges in 40-year-old murder case

Robert Eugene Pilcher, 67

Prosecutors in the 40-year-old murder case of Mary Jayne Jones found out that their job of prosecuting her alleged killer might be a little more difficult.

Robert Eugene Pilcher, 67, is scheduled to stand trial starting on January 14 for the sexual assault murder of the 17-year-old Wapello County girl.

Prosecutors hoped to introduce evidence that Pilcher has a history of committing sexual assaults.

Online court records indicate that District Court Judge Richard Meadows entered an order excluding such evidence, unless the defense would somehow open the door to such testimony during the trial.

Pilcher was interviewed in 1974 during the initial investigation, but it wasn't until November 2012 that law enforcement developed DNA evidence linking him to the crime.

Pilcher has been held since his arrest on $1 million bond.