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Jury Finds Burns Guilty in 40-Year Old Murder Case

A jury has found Jerry Lynn Burns of Manchester guilty of First Degree Murder.

The verdict came around 4:30 pm Monday after three hours of deliberations. The 66-year old Burns is convicted of stabbing 18-year-old Michelle Martinko to death in the parking lot of a Cedar Rapids shopping mall in 1979.

Monday began with closing arguments in the trial. Assistant Linn County Attorney Nick Maybanks gave the closing remarks for the prosecution. Maybanks says once a preliminary DNA check indicated Burns was the suspect, they tested another sample directly from Burns.

Maybanks went back over the other evidence and summed up his closing by saying we all have encounters throughout our lives — and the consequences of those encounters eventually catch up to us.

Defense attorney Leon Spies again told the jury that there are questions about the evidence and its link to Burns.

He summed up by saying the case leaves doubt that the jury should consider.

Burns faces a mandatory life sentence. He also has the right to appeal.


story courtesy of KCRG/Radio Iowa


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