Local News

Burns Awaiting Appeal Decision from Iowa Supreme Court

A Manchester man convicted in a cold case murder is still awaiting the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision on his appeal.

Jerry Burns’ appeal on his 2020 conviction for first degree murder was heard by the court in late September. Burns was found guilty in the 1979 stabbing murder of 18-year old Michelle Martinko of Cedar Rapids, who was found dead in her parents’ car in the Westdale Mall parking lot in Cedar Rapids. 

Burns was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Burns’s attorneys say investigators violated Burns’ fourth amendment rights when they took his discarded straw from Manchester’s Pizza Ranch without a warrant. DNA from the straw helped link Burns to the case.

Burns’s attorneys also argue the evidence was insufficient to establish his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Iowa Supreme Court has not yet announced their ruling on Burns’ appeal.

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