Michelle Martinko trial updates Feb 18 – 19, 2020:
Feb 18: Two points to take away:
We learn that a senior DNA lab analyst at Bode Technology examined the following pieces of evidence: blood taken from the gear shift from the Martinko Family car and the mouth swab taken from Burns.
Her goal was to examine the Y chromosome. The Y chromosome is a sex chromosome which is normally present only in male cells, which are designated XY.
In her finding, she matched the Y chromosome from the crime scene to the mouth swab.
2: Jail House Informant
I am always sceptical when I see this but here goes: the prosecution presented to the court Mr. Michael Allison.
Allison is incarcerated in the Linn County jail. His charges are still pending. We learn that he graduated from Oklahoma State University. He also served in the war with Iraq. Allison has prior convictions related to drugs.
Allison shared a cell with Burns in September of last year. They spoke about everything, played games, shared regrets, etc. At one point, Burns kept losing when they played cards. Burns said “he was going to have to take [Allison] to the mall.”
It is a weird comment and yes, the crime scene was the mall, but NO, it isn’t the red flag that we are waiting for in this case.
The prosecution rests. Trial resumes 9am on Thursday, Feb 20, 2020. Jury dismissed for the day.
Michelle Marie Martinko was found dead on Dec 20, 1979. She was repeatedly stabbed in her face and chest. Police found her body in the family Buick in the parking lot of the Westdale Mall, Iowa. Police said there was no sign of a sexual assault, but she had wounds that indicated she fought with her attacker.
In Oct 2006, police announced they had developed the suspect’s DNA. However, no match was found in the national Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). In May 2017, Cedar Rapids Police Department released a suspect composite sketch based on that DNA. On Dec 19, 2018, police announced an arrest. Jerry Lynn Burns (64) was arrested 12/19/2018 and faces first-degree murder charges. A covert DNA sample was matched to blood found at the crime scene. Police questioned Burns at work in Manchester, Iowa where he denied killing Martinko. He could not offer an alternative explanation for why his DNA was found at the crime scene. Burns again denied killing Martinko when he appeared by video for his arraignment. He requested court-appointed counsel. The judge ordered a $5 million cash-only bond.
The preliminary hearing was on Dec 28, 2018. Trial was set for Oct 14, 2019 in Linn County District Court. The trial was moved out of Linn County after the prosecution decided not to resist change of venue. Burns will now face trial by jury in the Scott County Courthouse in Davenport. The jury selection started Feb 10, 2020.
If you have any information, please contact Investigator Matt Denlinger at 319-286 5442 or email him at [email protected]