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Jury selection begins in murder retrial

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Robert Bowman, followed by attorney Jane Roman, enters Lucas County Common Pleas Court in Toledo, for the start of jury selection in his retrial, Tuesday, October 11, 2011, He is accused of killing of 14-year-old Eileen Adams in 1967.

The Blade/Dave Zapotosky
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Nearly 100 potential jurors appeared in Lucas County Common Pleas Court yesterday as attorneys began the process of seating a jury for a second time in the first-degree murder trial of Robert Bowman.

Bowman, 75, is charged in the 1967 slaying of a Sylvania Township teenager, a case that remained cold for decades until a warrant was issued for his arrest in 2006. He faces life in prison if convicted.

Yesterday, attorneys began questioning jurors individually regarding their knowledge of the case and any potential reason that they would not be able to serve.

Jury selection is expected to last through the end of the week.

The trial will be the second in two months.

Bowman's first trial ended Aug. 23 in a mistrial after a jury of nine women and three men deadlocked and could not reach a consensus.

Bowman, who long since had moved from Toledo, is accused of killing Eileen Adams, 14, who was last seen Dec. 18, 1967, on a city bus after school.

Her bound body was found in a Monroe County field Jan. 30, 1968.

Although at one point Bowman became a suspect in the murder, the case went unsolved for nearly four decades until cold-case detectives reopened it in 2006. Using DNA, investigators issued a warrant for Bowman, who was arrested in California two years later.

He was indicted Oct. 31, 2008, and remains in custody in lieu of $500,000 bond.

Seventeen witnesses testified over seven days during the first trial in August, which included more than 85 prosecution exhibits and about a dozen from the defense.

Among the state's witnesses were DNA experts who testified about linking Bowman's DNA to a semen stain found on the victim's clothing. Also testifying was Bowman's former wife, Margaret, who said she saw a young girl bound in her basement in December, 1967, when she lived with Bowman and their daughter on West Sylvania Avenue.

The jury deliberated nearly 12 hours over two days before being released. A juror who declined to give her name said the jury was stuck at a 10-2 vote in favor of conviction.

Jurors have since declined to comment.

According to the witness list filed by the prosecutor's office, there are few changes in the witnesses to be called during Bowman's second trial. The trial is expected to last through the end of the month with Judge Gene Zmuda presiding.

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