Manchester Man Convicted of 1979 Murder Requesting New Trial

A Manchester man convicted of murdering a Cedar Rapids teenager forty years ago is asking for a new trial.

A jury found Jerry Burns guilty of First Degree Murder in the death of Michelle Martinko during a trial earlier this year. Martinko was found stabbed to death in her parents’ car at the Westdale Mall parking lot in December 1979. DNA evidence led investigators to arrest Burns in 2018.

On Friday, Burns’ attorney, Leon Spies, filed a motion requesting a new trial in Linn County District Court.

Assistant Linn County Attorney Nicholas Maybanks, who was the prosecutor in Burns’ trial in February, tells KMCH the request for a new trial was expected and is quite standard in serious cases like this. He says prosecution will resist the motion.

Meanwhile, Burns’ sentencing hearing is still set for August 7th.