Jay Mercier, cold case suspect, pleads not guilty

5:40 PM, Oct 6, 2011   |    comments
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SKOWHEGAN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The suspect in a three decides old murder pleaded not guilty today.

55-year-old Jay Mercier of Industry was charged after a secret indictment was handed up by a grand jury last month. He's accused of killing Rita St. Peter who was 20-years old at the time of her death.

Police are not saying what led them to him, but they do say they had long suspected him in the murder and the time was right to bring the evidence to a grand jury.

The woman's relatives said they never gave up on the case and they're glad police didn't either.

"It's been a long time, but you know don't anybody ever give up hope out there. There's cold cases but don't give up hope, because one day you just never know, just like us we never gave up hope", said Christine Belangia, St. Peter's sister.

Mercier is being held without bail at the Somerset County Jail in Skowhegan. It's likely his trial won't start until late spring or early summer.


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