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Mistrial extends 40-year quest for justice for family of 17-year-old girl killed in 1974

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FILE - In this 1973 photo provided by Judith Cabanillas is her sister, Mary Jayne Jones, a year before the 17-year-old girl was found dead in an Iowa farmhouse. A judge declared a mistrial Friday, Jan. 30, 2014 after jurors couldn’t reach a verdict in the case against Robert "Gene" Pilcher who was charged with first-degree murder in the April 9, 1974 slaying of 17-year-old Jones. (AP Photo/Courtesy Judith Cabanillas, File) (The Associated Press)

The family of a 17-year-old girl who was beaten and shot to death in 1974 at an Iowa farmhouse must wait a little longer for the justice they seek.

A judge declared a mistrial Thursday in the case of Robert "Gene" Pilcher, who was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Mary Jayne Jones.

Jurors said they could not agree on a verdict after a week of deliberations at the Wapello County Courthouse in Ottumwa.

Prosecutors have indicated they will retry Pilcher. A second trial is set for March 25.

Jones' family said they were disappointed but wouldn't give up "seeing justice in this matter."

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