No delay in trial for man accused of killing Michelle Martinko

Jerry Burns, of Manchester (Courtesy: Cedar Rapids Police Department)
Jerry Burns, of Manchester (Courtesy: Cedar Rapids Police Department)(KCRG)
Published: Feb. 7, 2020 at 10:34 AM CST
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The trial for the man accused of killing a Cedar Rapids woman more than 40 years ago will start as scheduled.

Jerry Burns, 66, of Manchester faces a 1st-degree murder charge in Michelle Martinko's death. He's accused of stabbing her in Dec. 1979 in the Westdale Mall parking lot.

Police said blood at the crime scene matches the DNA they found on a drinking straw Burns left on a restaurant table in Manchester. However, Burns' attorneys claimed police needed a search warrant to obtain the straw.

A judge ruled that a person gives up a "reasonable expectation of privacy in property that has been abandoned." Earlier in the week, the same judge ruled computer searches Burns made for pornography featuring blonde-haired women being sexually assaulted and killed cannot be used in his trial. The judge said the crime and the searches can't be connected because they happened 38 years apart.

Burns' trial is set to start Monday in Scott County.