Walker trial starts with testimony from former school employees and superintendent
The trial for former Paducah Middle School Assistant Principal Jerry Walker started on Tuesday. He is charged with perjury, tampering with evidence and tampering with a witness.
In May 2013, Walker was supposed to attend a track and field meet in Louisville. Instead, he’s accused of meeting another employee, Jennifer Griffith, and staying two nights with her in a Hyatt Hotel using school money. Walker was terminated from his position in June, but requested a tribunal hearing to appeal. The hearing was held in July of 2013. That’s when prosecutors say Walker committed perjury and tampered with evidence.
On Monday, the prosecution and defense made their opening statements, and a number of Walker’s former coworkers and supervisors testified.
The trial started with prosecutors describing him as a deceitful person who lies only to benefit himself.
"I have every reason to believe he will continue with these deceptions," said prosecutor Raymond McGill.
Prosecutors brought up a track meet in 2013 they say he never showed up to.
"The reason no one saw their athletic director at the track meet is because he was with his girlfriend," McGill said.
Prosecutors say a married Walker and Griffith staged pictures wearing orange bracelets that looked like the track meets admission bracelets. They say he then showed the pictures to appeal his termination as assistant principal.
"I said ‘Jerry, I just can’t trust you. I just can’t trust you,’ and he said ‘Dr. Greene, you can trust me with your life,’" said Randy Greene, former Paducah Schools superintendent.
Greene took the stand and even got emotional remembering when he terminated Walker.
"I got up and said ‘You’ve broken my heart,’ and I said ‘You’re done here,’ and walked out,’" Walker said.
Defense attorneys say they will show evidence to prove the prosecutors arguments are false. Walker’s attorney, Dennis Null, said there it wasn’t possible for Walker to stage the pictures.
"We believe from evidence it was impossible for that to have been taken on June 27. We’re going to prove that with a series of exhibits and a series of witnesses," Null said.
The trial continues at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. We will bring you updates from the courtroom. The trial is expected to end on Friday.
Griffith, who was also a school employee, pleaded guilty to felony perjury. She will testify in this trial.
You may recognize Walker from another case. He was twice acquitted regarding the 1998 Murray State University dorm fire. Walker pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence in that case.