Jury acquits man in fatal Murray State dorm fire

July 18, 2012 - 9:36 PM

BENTON, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky jury has acquitted a man in his second trial stemming from a deadly 1998 fire at a Murray State University dormitory.

A Marshall County Circuit Court jury deliberated nearly 4 1/2 hours Wednesday before returning the verdict in the case of former Murray State student Jerry Walker Jr. The trial lasted a week and a half.

A reporter with The Paducah Sun who covered the trial said Walker declined comment on his future, saying only "Praise God."

Gail Minger, whose son, Michael Minger, was killed in the fire, said she was shocked but declined further comment.

Walker had been charged with manslaughter, arson, assault and wanton endangerment. A 2001 trial on different charges associated with the incident ended with a hung jury.