Opening statements are expected Tuesday morning in the murder trial of William Riley Gaul, the former college football player accused of fatally shooting 16-year-old ex-girlfriend Emma Jane Walker.
Prosecutors in Knox County, Tennessee said Walker was found dead in her bed on Nov. 21, 2016. Gaul is alleged to have stood in her family’s backyard, and opened fired through her bedroom wall, striking and killing her. The motive, according to the state: He couldn’t get over their break-up. Charges include first-degree murder, and aggravated stalking. The Knox County Sheriff’s Office announced his arrest only two days after the incident.
The pair used to date as students at Central High School. Gaul graduated in 2016, and ended up playing football at Maryville College. Walker is said to have ended the relationship several weeks before she passed away.
Even now, both sides of the case are fighting over the evidence to be shown at trial. On Monday, before the jurors entered the courtroom, Gaul’s defense objected to certain text messages between him and Walker. The judge deferred ruling on this.
In the trial, jurors are likely to mull over evidence connecting Gaul to the fatal shooting, such as testimony he tried to get rid of a gun. A friend reportedly said the defendant asked him to help dispose of the firearm. Gaul’s grandfather reportedly told investigators that he switched vehicles with him three days before Walker’s death. When he got his vehicle back, he allegedly discovered that a pistol that he had under the driver’s seat was missing.
Cathy Russon contributed to this article.
[Mugshot via Knox County Sheriff’s Office]