Defense wants Walker's latest charges thrown out
CALLOWAY COUNTY, KY- Less than 4 weeks after an acquittal, Jerry Walker Jr.'s freedom and career are once again on the line.
On July 18th, a Marshall County jury found him not guilty on arson and manslaughter charges. He is now facing tampering with evidence charges for letters he wrote in the aftermath of the 1998 dorm fire that killed Murray State sophomore Michael Minger and injured another student.
The letters, called 'bogus' by the prosecution served just one purpose- to 'steer police in another direction.'
His lawyers say the father of 3 was disappointed to be returning to the courtroom Monday.
"Jerry would like for this whole process to be over, put it behind him," Richard Null said.
The defense believes what is happening now is a payback of sorts for Walker's July acquittal. But Commonwealth's Attorney Mark Blankenship says the defense knew about these charges before trial and, he says, he even offered them a deal.
"I used it for some bargaining purposes, saying let's just settle everything. The pending charges and these new charges that'll be coming and they didn't want to do that."
But certainly, the defense never expected the charges to re-surface after an acquittal. It is why they are using Blankenship's own words to try and get these charges thrown out
Richard Null pointed to a fax from Blankenship written to his father, Dennis, the lead defense attorney on the case.
The fax dated June 7 reads, "Dennis, Don't take this personal. I'm using all the muscle I have."
In court Monday, Blankenship certainly seemed to be rolling up his sleeves, ready for a fight.
"The Commonwealth is not ready to dismiss in any shape or form," he told the judge, in the moments after the defense presented a motion to dismiss the charges.
The tampering charges are felonies. If convicted, Walker's teaching certificate could be revoked. For now, he remains on as the assistant principal at Paducah Middle School. The superintendent says he will not make any decisions until he knows more about the charges.
Both sides return to court September 7th.