MSU fire victim's mother reacts to new charges - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

MSU fire victim's mother reacts to new charges

September 19, 1998 September 19, 1998
Michael Minger Michael Minger
Jerry Wayne Walker (Source: Calloway County Jail) Jerry Wayne Walker (Source: Calloway County Jail)
September 19, 1998 September 19, 1998
September 19, 1998 September 19, 1998
MURRAY, KY (KFVS) -

Gail Minger says word of new charges in connection with the 1998 fire at Murray State University that claimed the life of her son hit her harder than she thought it would.

"It really dredged up a lot of very deep emotion," Gail Minger said. 

Minger spoke by phone from Richmond Kentucky, where her Michael Minger Memorial Foundation kicked off a campus fire safety program Thursday at Eastern Kentucky University.

"I think it (emotion) came from restoring hope that there is justice in this world, or at least an attempt to seek justice," Minger said.

Minger started the foundation in her son's name in 2005, four years after a jury deadlocked on murder charges against Jerry Walker.

Jerry W. Walker, now 35, faces new charges of manslaughter, arson, assault and wanton endangerment.

Kentucky State Police say Walker turned himself in to authorities Thursday morning.

A member of the Calloway County Sheriff's Office says Walker bonded out of that jail a short time later. 

Walker was released on a $100,000 surety bond. He is to appear in court on November 11.

On September 18, 1998, Michael Minger, 19, was killed after a fire ripped through the 4th floor of Hester Hall, a student dormitory at Murray State.

Several others received injuries due to the incident.

Gail Minger says reliving that loss with these new charges will be difficult, but necessary. 

Thursday marked the 13th anniversary of the day Minger buried her son.

"You know, we have to do what we have to do," Minger said.  "And this may not be easy but it's the right thing to do because I think the truth really matters.   And I think it's important that we get to the truth and a resolution, as I said, for this horrific act that was done 13 years ago."

You can learn more about the Michael Minger Memorial Foundation, which focuses on campus fire safety with a special emphasis on students with disabilities online.

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