LINN COUNTY, Iowa — New court records show the trial against the man accused of killing Cedar Rapids teenager Michelle Martinko nearly 40 years ago, will move to Scott County.
The decision was made by a Linn County judge on Monday.
In November, the attorney for Jerry Burns filed a request to have the trial moved because media coverage of the arrest and court proceedings "has generated not only a presumption of prejudiced but also an atmosphere of actual bias in Linn County, Iowa."
Burns is accused of stabbing and killing Martinko in December of 1979. The Kennedy High senior's body was found inside her family's car parked at the Westdale Mall on December 20, 1979.
The case went cold for decades until police arrested Burns and charged him with Martinko's killing last December in Manchester where he lived and worked.
Genetic genealogy led investigators to Burns. DNA from two distant cousins led to Burns and his two brothers. His brothers were eliminated as possible matches but his DNA — taken from a soda straw and collected by an investigator in October 2018 was a match to DNA found at the 1979 crime scene.
The murder trial is scheduled to start on February 10, 2020.