Man Accused of 1979 Slaying Wants Trial Moved

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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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