Closing Arguments Coming Monday in Burns’ Murder Trial

Closing arguments will begin Monday in the Jerry Burns trial.

Burns, who is from Manchester, is charged with First Degree Murder in a 40-year old murder case. He is accused of killing Cedar Rapids teen Michelle Martinko in a mall parking lot in 1979.

The defense wrapped up presenting evidence Thursday, only calling one witness. The only defense witness was Doctor Michael Spence, a self-described forensic DNA consultant. He testified because some evidence was stored together, DNA could have spread from one piece to another.

He said it is in the “realm of possibilities” that Burns’ DNA got to the murder scene through a secondary transfer.

Our coverage partner KCRG says on Friday the prosecution in Burns’ murder trial called witnesses for rebuttal in court. Prosecutors called a DCI lab supervisor to give testimony.

At one point on Friday, Burns’ attorneys asked for a mistrial. They objected to a suggestion that Burns’ blood was found at the crime scene, with no testimony saying that was the case.

Court adjourned early on Friday and will reconvene Monday for the closing arguments.

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