Ex-Student at Murray State Pleads Guilty to Evidence Tampering in 1998 Dorm Fire

Jerry Walker Jr. pleaded guilty on Tuesday to six tampering charges in connection with a series of letters he wrote in the days following a 1998 dormitory fire at Murray State University that killed a fellow student and injured five others. Mr. Walker had been tried twice for his role in the incident, but a 2001 trial ended in a hung jury and another jury acquitted him in July. In exchange for his plea, he will serve no jail time but will help care for a memorial for Michael H. Minger, the student who died in the fire.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Mark Blankenship says Tuesday’s outcome was not what he was hoping for when he reopened the case several years ago. But, he told the court, he accepted the finality of the case. “I do appreciate Jerry Walker for doing the right thing today and accepting responsibility,” he said.

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