Jury in Mercier Murder Trial Asks Judge to Define Manslaughter

Updated 2 years ago

The jury continues to deliberate in the murder trial of Jay Mercier, 56. Mercier is accused of sexually assaulting and murdering Rita St. Peter, 20, and dumping her body in North Anson more than three decades ago. After a couple of hours of deliberation, the jury asked the judge to define manslaughter and how it differs from murder. The law defines manslaughter as, ” A person is guilty of manslaughter if the person recklessly, or with criminal negligence, causes the death of another human being: or intentionally or knowingly causes the death of another human being under circumstances that do not constitute murder because the person causes the death while under the influence of extreme anger or extreme fear brought about by adequate provocation.”The law defines murder as, ” A person is guilty of murder if the person intentionally or knowingly causes the death of another human being: engages in conduct that manifests a depraved indifference to the value of human life and that in fact causes the death of another human being.”The prosecution says modern forensics were able to tie the DNA taken from St. Peter’s body to Mercier and match tire impressions taken from where the body was found to the truck Mercier was driving in 1980. The defense contends the DNA evidence only proves Mercier had sex with St. Peter and lied about it, but that does not prove murder. The jury is still deliberating. We will bring you the verdict as soon as we have it.


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