Jerry Lynn Burns

Jerry Lynn Burns: 

Manchester man charged in 1979 Iowa slaying pleads not guilty

Bond set at $5M for Manchester man charged in 39-year-old murder of Cedar Rapids teen

CEDAR RAPIDS (AP) — A man has pleaded not guilty to killing an Iowa high school student in 1979.

Records say 65-year-old Jerry Burns filed a written plea Friday in Linn County District Court. The charge: first-degree murder. His trial starting date has not been set. He remains in custody, pending $5 million bail.

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Police arrested the Manchester business owner 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.

Police say investigators matched a blood sample from the crime scene with a sample taken from Burns.

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