A dispute over the amount of gasoline necessary to cause a 1998 fatal dorm fire at Murray State dominated defense arguments in the Jerry Wayne Walker Jr. trial yesterday.
Defense attorney Richard Null called on combustion expert Richard Roby as his first witness. Roby testified that conditions in the dorm would've required at least two-and-a-half to three gallons of gasoline to start a fire that could've produced enough carbon monoxide to suffocate and kill then student Michael Minger.
The prosecution has linked Walker to the purchasing of a single gallon of gasoline the night of the fire. An expert for the prosecution said one gallon would've been enough to cause the fire that killed Minger. During cross-examination of Roby the prosecution questioned his use of data, his knowledge of the incident’s precise circumstances and his knowledge of gasoline fires.
Walker is on trial for the second time after a 2001 trial ended in a hung jury.