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Suspect pleads not guilty to 1974 Iowa slaying; more

Nov 15, 2012

Suspect pleads not guilty to 1974 Iowa slaying


OTTUMWA (AP) — A Des Moines man has pleaded not guilty to a charge that he killed a 17-year-old Iowa girl in 1974 in rural Wapello County.

The Ottumwa Courier reports that 66-year-old Robert Pilcher entered his plea Wednesday in a video conference with the judge.

Wapello County sheriff’s deputies and Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation agents arrested Pilcher on Tuesday at a Des Moines motel. He’s charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of Mary Jones, of Ottumwa.

Jones’ body was discovered April 9, 1974, in a farmhouse. She had been shot to death and sexually assaulted.

Pilcher was interviewed in 1974 but never charged. Investigators say they finally linked Pilcher to the case through DNA evidence.

Pilcher is being held in the Wapello County Jail on $1 million bond.


Company recalls sausage product


DES MOINES (AP) —Pinnacle Foods Group is recalling nearly 91,000 pounds of bourbon barbecue sausage products made at its plant in Fort Madison because they may have been undercooked.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the company discovered the problem, which it believes was caused by processing time miscalculations. There have been no reports of illnesses.

The product is 5-ounce cans of “Armour Vienna Sausage Bourbon BBQ Flavored.” The cans have an establishment number P-4247 inside the USDA inspection mark. The products were produced on Sept. 7, 2012.

Pinnacle Foods Group is headquartered in Mountain Lakes, N.J., and has over 4,500 workers in 21 sites in North America.


Panel to discuss future of gay rights in Iowa


DES MOINES (AP) — Gay rights groups are hosting a panel discussion to discuss the future of the LGBT movement in Iowa after they claimed major victories in last week’s elections.

One Iowa and Lambda Legal are hosting the event today at Pappajohn Education Center in Des Moines.

Speakers will discuss the impact of voters’ decisions to retain Justice David Wiggins on the Iowa Supreme Court and keep Democrats in control of the Iowa Senate.

Wiggins participated in the 2009 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in Iowa, and he defeated an attempt by social conservatives to oust him. Renewed Democratic control of the Senate means that attempts to amend the constitution to ban gay marriage will fail.

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