Man accused of killing woman 31 years ago denied bail

Posted Jan. 06, 2012, at 10:51 a.m.
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Rita St. Peter

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  • Rita St. Peter
    Courtesy photo
    Rita St. Peter
    Jay Mercier is led from Somerset Superior Court in Skowhegan, Maine on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011 by Maine state troopers following a hearing. Mercier was charged last week in the death of 20-year-old Rita St. Peter, whose battered body was found near the side of a road in Anson on July 5, 1980.
    David Leaming | The Morning Sentinel
    Jay Mercier is led from Somerset Superior Court in Skowhegan, Maine on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011 by Maine state troopers following a hearing. Mercier was charged last week in the death of 20-year-old Rita St. Peter, whose battered body was found near the side of a road in Anson on July 5, 1980.

    SKOWHEGAN, Maine — A Maine man arrested last year and charged with killing a woman more than three decades ago has had his bid to remain free while awaiting trial rejected.

    A justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday upheld a lower court’s decision and ordered 56-year-old Jay Mercier of Industry to continue being held without bail based on the nature of the crime and the evidence against him.

    Mercier was arrested in September and charged in the death of 20-year-old Rita St. Peter, whose battered body was found on the roadside in Anson in July 1980. Mercier was tied to the killing through DNA evidence.

    The Morning Sentinel reports Mercier’s lawyer argued that a police affidavit in the case was unreliable and his client is not a flight risk.

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