Man convicted in cold-case killing appeals DNA evidence

SKOWHEGAN, Maine (AP) — A Maine man who was convicted of murder in 2012 for the 1980 killing of a 20-year-old woman has filed a new appeal in which his attorney says DNA tests using new technology could prove her client innocent.

The Morning Sentinel reports 67-year-old Jay Mercier also requested the court disqualify the Attorney General’s Office from the case in his third round of appeals Tuesday.

Mercier was sentenced to 70 years in prison for the 1980 killing of Rita St. Peter. Prosecutors say the 20-year-old Anson woman was beaten and sexually assaulted.

St. Peter’s death was the oldest cold case in the state until DNA found on a cigarette butt connected Mercier to the crime in 2010.

The court has yet to rule on his appeal.