Opening statements expected for trial in 1979 slaying

Opening statements expected for trial in 1979 slaying
FILE - In a Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020 file photo, Jerry Burns enters the courtroom during the continuation of a suppression hearing for evidence in the case of Burns of Manchester at the Linn County Courthouse in Cedar Rapids. Burns is accused of murdering Michelle Martinko in 1979. Judge Fae Hoover Grinde has barred from trial evidence that Burns searched the internet in the past few years for stories about assault, rape and murder. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette via AP, File)

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Opening statements are expected Wednesday in the trial of a man charged with killing a high school girl in Iowa more than 40 years ago.

Jury selection was completed Tuesday for the trial of Jerry Burns, 66, of Manchester. He’s accused of fatally stabbing 18-year-old Michelle Martinko on Dec. 19, 1979, in Cedar Rapids. 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.

Burns has pleaded not guilty. The trial was moved to Scott County District Court in Davenport because of pretrial publicity in Cedar Rapids. Last week, a judge barred from trial evidence that Burns searched the internet in the past few years for stories about assault, rape and murder.

The trial is expected to last about two weeks.