SKOWHEGAN — A Maine man arrested last year and charged with killing a woman more than three decades ago is due to go on trial this week in Somerset County Superior Court.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Thursday in the trial of 56-year-old Jay Mercier of Industry, who has pleaded not guilty to killing 20-year-old Rita St. Peter. Her battered body was found on the roadside in Anson in July 1980. Mercier was tied to the killing through DNA evidence.

Brenda Kielty, spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office, says it’s the oldest case tried by the state since Thomas Mitchell Jr. was convicted in 2009 for the 1983 stabbing death of Judith Flagg.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.