A not guilty verdict this week put an end to a 14 year arson case at Murray State that killed one student and permanently injured another. Jerry Wayne Walker Jr. has been the prosecution's prime suspect since the start. He was initially tried in 2001 and was free after the jury couldn't reach a verdict.
The Paducah Sun reports it has filed a petition in Calloway Circuit Court to keep pre-trial hearings open in the arson/manslaughter case against Jerry Wayne Walker, Junior. Commonwealth's Attorney Mark Blankenship wants to close the hearings to both the media and the public, citing "media attention" to the case as the reason. Walker is set to appear in his second trial later this year over charges he set the 1998 Murray State dorm fire that killed Michael Minger and injured another student. Walker's earlier trial in 2001 ended in a hung jury. Circuit Judge Dennis Foust has not yet ruled
A judge says it will be two weeks before a decision is made concerning a motion from Jerry Wayne Walker's attorney to dismiss his case. Walker is charged with manslaughter, arson, assault, and wanton endangerment stemming from a 1998 dormitory fire in Murray State's Hester Hall. If the case is not dismissed, the trial is set to begin July 6 in Calloway Circuit Court. Walker is accused of setting the fire that claimed the life of student Michael Minger. The case originally went to trial in 2001, but ended in a mistrial, as the jury deadlocked 11-1 to acquit Walker.