1974 farmhouse slaying jury can't decide on verdict

1974 farmhouse slaying took place in Iowa. Jurors in the 1974 farmhouse slaying trial are expected to continue their work Wednesday.

Lynnette Oostmeyer, The Ottumwa Courier/AP
1974 farmhouse slaying: Robert Eugene Pilcher, center, reads over the instructions being presented to the jury before deliberations Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014 at the Wapello County Courthouse in Ottumwa, Iowa. Pilcher is on trial for the 1974 murder of 17-year-old Mary Jayne Jones.

Jurors have told a judge that they're deadlocked at the trial of a man charged with first-degree murder in the 1974 slaying of a 17-year-old girl at an Iowa farmhouse.

After learning of the disagreement, Judge Richard Meadows ordered the jury Tuesday to continue deliberating in the case against 67-year-old Robert "Gene" Pilcher. Jurors went home hours later and were expected to resume deliberations Wednesday.

Prosecutors accuse Pilcher of fatally shooting Mary Jayne Jones at his cousin's farmhouse while his cousin was away. Authorities arrested Pilcher in 2012 after tests linked his DNA to semen stains on a blanket that was under Jones' body.

Pilcher says he's innocent. He says the semen came from a previous sexual encounter, and prosecutors offered little other direct evidence linking him to the death.

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