CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa- An Iowa City attorney known for taking high-profile criminal cases, will defend a man accused of killing a Cedar Rapids teen, nearly 40-years ago.
Leon Spies has filed to represent 64-year-old Jerry Burns of Manchester. Burns has been charged in the murder of 18-year-old Michelle Martinko.
Martinko was found stabbed to death in a car in a Cedar Rapids mall parking lot December 19th, 1979.
Police say the Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School Senior had gone to Westdale mall to buy a coat.
Authorities say DNA evidence led them to arrest Burns.
KCRG TV 9 reports Spies has a history of handling high-profile cases.
Among his clients are:
-Dustin Honken - The only death penalty case in Iowa in the past 45 years. He was convicted of federal drug and murder charges in 2005 and is currently on federal death row.
-Nicholas Luerkens - convicted of killing 29 year-old Lynnsey Donald in the Marion Hy-Vee parking lot in 2015.
-Abe Satterfield and Cedric Everson - former Hawkeye football players accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a residence hall in 2007. Everson was convicted of a simple assault and served a week in jail. Satterfield took a plea deal and avoided jail time.
-John Bloomfield - charged in 2013 with murdering his wife in Iowa City in 1997 but died before trial.
-Jane Barto - former Iowa Workforce Development director charged with federal obstruction of justice charges for a scandal with a contractor called CIETC.