A discarded cigarette butt led to the arrest of Jay Mercier in a 31-year-old murder case. Mercier, of Industry, Maine, was charged with murder on Sept. 28 in the July 5, 1980, death of Rita St. Peter and pleaded not guilty on Oct. 6. On Monday, he was denied bail by Judge John Mercier, said Deputy Attorney General William Stokes.
Maine State Police Detective Bryant Jacques said in an affidavit that on Jan. 15, 2010, he interviewed Mercier outside of his home in Industry. Mercier was smoking a cigarette and discarded it in the roadway while the two discussed the St. Peter investigation. After the meeting, Jacques collected the cigarette butt and delivered it to the Maine State Police Crime Laboratory in Augusta for processing.
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