Fire, murder retrial to move venues
May 08, 2012 | 1873 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
By Jody Norwood

Tribune-Courier News Editor

BENTON – Two cases in the 42nd Judicial Circuit will be moving from their original venues. On Monday, Judge Dennis Foust agreed to move the retrial of George Luna to Trigg County later this year. Foust also agreed to move the case against Jerry Wayne Walker from Calloway to Marshall County.

The court was unable to seat a jury for Luna in April. Luna, convicted in 2008 to life in prison for the murder of Debra Hendrickson, was granted a retrial in 2010 by the Kentucky Supreme Court. With a potential pool of 82 jurors, the court took two days to interview and question each potential candidate. In the end, the court was unable to find enough jurors who had not heard of the case or already formed an opinion.

The cicrumstances of finding impartial jurors is similar in Walker’s case, which is also before Foust.

Walker faces charges stemming from his alleged involvement in the 1998 Hester Hall fire at Murray State University. Student Michael Minger died in the fire. Walker is being represented by attorney Richard Null. Commonwealth Attorney Mark Blanksenship will serve as prosecution in Walker’s case.

Special prosecutor Todd Lewis has been assigned to Luna’s retiral.

Jury selection in Walker’s case is set to begin July 9. Luna’s trial date in Trigg County has been moved to Oct. 8. A status hearing has been set for Friday.
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