Judge won't dismiss new charges in dorm fire case

BENTON, Ky. (AP) - A western Kentucky judge won't dismiss tampering with evidence charges against a man who was acquitted during a second trial of a Murray State University dorm fire that killed one student.

The Murray Ledger & Times and The Paducah Sun report that Judge Dennis Foust ruled Friday that the charges against Jerry Walker Jr. would stand. The charges relate to six anonymous letters that were used as evidence at the July trial in which Walker was found not guilty of arson, manslaughter, assault and wanton endangerment in the Sept. 18, 1998 fire.

Walker's attorney had argued that the prosecution was vindictive and too much time had passed since the letters were written.

Foust said the defense made valid points, but the law would not allow him to dismiss the case.

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