Man Accused of 1979 Slaying Wants Trial Moved

Jerry Lynn Burns makes his initial court appearance in Linn County after being charged with the 1979 murder of Michelle Martinko. (KWWL)

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A man accused of killing an Iowa high school student almost 40 years ago wants his trial moved out of Linn County.

The attorney for 65-year-old Jerry Burns, of Manchester, said in a filing Monday that pretrial publicity made it unlikely Burns could receive a fair trial in Linn County. The trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 10.

Police arrested Burns Dec. 19, 39 years to the day after 18-year-old Michelle Martinko was killed. Her body was found the next day inside her family’s car at a Cedar Rapids mall. She had been stabbed in the face and chest.

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