Attorney Says Burns to Plead Not Guilty to Murder Charge

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – The attorney for a Manchester man charged with the 1979 murder of a Cedar Rapids teen says his client will plead not guilty.

Leon Spies is the attorney for 64-year old Jerry Lynn Burns, and Spies told The Des Moines Register Thursday that Burns will enter the not guilty plea at his arraignment, which has not been scheduled. Burns is being held on $5 million bail.

Police arrested Burns last week, charging him with first-degree murder 39 years to the day after 18-year-old Michelle Martinko was killed.

Her body was found early the next day inside her family’s car parked at a shopping mall. She had stab wounds to her face and chest.

Police say they matched a blood sample from the crime scene with a sample taken from the suspect.