The jury has reached a verdict in the first-degree murder trial in the 1979 killing of a Cedar Rapids teen.
Sixty-six-year-old Jerry Burns of Manchester was found guilty of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of 18-year-old Michelle Martinko in the parking lot of Westdale Mall in Cedar Rapids.
The verdict came about three hours after closing arguments were completed in the case. The trial lasted nine days and focused on DNA evidence that linked Burns to a bloodstain found on Martinko’s dress.
The defense tried to show that the evidence was mishandled in the case and that Martinko could have acquired the DNA on the dress by walking through the mall.
The trial was moved from Linn to Scott County due to publicity about the case.