Trial for Iowa man accused of killing Michelle Martinko moved to Scott County

Jerry Burns, 65, of Manchester, is accused of killing Michelle Martinko, 18, almost 40 years ago. (Cedar Rapids Police Department)
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SCOTT Co., Iowa (KWQC) - The trial for the man accused of killing Iowa high school student Michelle Martinko almost 40 years ago has been moved to Scott County.

According to court documents, on Nov. 25, the attorney for 65-year-old Jerry Burns of Manchester filed a motion for a change of venue from Linn County. His attorney argued the pretrial publicity made it unlikely Burns could receive a fair trial there.

On Dec. 6, prosecutors responded to the request. They stated that based on their experience, they agreed there was enough prejudice in Linn County that it was likely Burns would not receive a fair trial.

On Monday, a judge ruled the first-degree murder trial would be moved to Scott County.

Police arrested Burns on Dec. 19, 39 years to the day after 18-year-old Michelle Martinko was killed. Her body was found the next day inside her family's car at a Cedar Rapids mall. She had been stabbed in the face and chest.

Investigators used DNA to link Burns to the crime.

His trial will still begin as scheduled on February 10, 2020.