Emma Walker’s death was no accident – it was the act of a ‘Cold-Hearted Killer’: prosecutors
Tenn jury find William Gaul guilty of first-degree murder, theft, tampering with evidence, reckless endangerment, and felony murder
William Riley Gaul was on trial for the death of his 16-year-old ex, who was killed when he fired shots into her bedroom around 3 a.m. on November 21, 2016 and received a life sentence in prison. He is not eligible for parole for 51 years
The 19-year-old college football player claims his shooting of ex-Girlfriend, Emma Walker while she slept in her bed at home was an accident
He claims it was part of a bizarre bid for her affection
Gaul, sitting in his car shot in the direction his 16-year-old ex-girlfriend’s bedroom at her parents Knoxville, Tenn., home in Nov of 2016
After Emma Walker was found lifeless in her bedroom, Gaul told cops “I wouldn’t hurt that girl. I would hurt myself before I hurt her.”
The prosecutors described it as the action of a ‘Cold-Hearted Killer’
Jurors agreed and found Gaul guilty of first-degree murder after about four hours of deliberation on Tuesday
William Riley Gaul was convicted in the shooting death of Emma Walker who he dated while in high school. He claimed shooting into her bedroom was an accident. He will spend the rest of his life behind bars
A spurned boyfriend was finally held accountable for disrupting the lives of a family forever when his teenage girlfriend dumped for good.
William Riley Gaul, a former Maryville College football player, has been jailed for life over the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Emma Walker. Gaul, 19, was immediately given a mandatory sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole for 51 years.
Then 18-year-old college wide receiver, William Riley Gaul told detectives in November 2016, “I hope to God I’m not a suspect in her death,” soon after his 16-year-old ex-girlfriend, Emma Walker, was found lifeless in her Knoxville, Tenn., bedroom.
“I wouldn’t hurt that girl. I would hurt myself before I hurt her.”
Although Gaul complained to investigators that his ex, Emma Walker [photo, right], had done some “cruel things” to him during their tumultuous break-up. He never wanted to harm her, he said and could not think of anyone who would.
During his two-hour interview with investigators, Gaul who was entering his sophomore year at Tennessee’s Maryville College, where he was a wide-receiver on the football team, repeatedly denied having a hand in Walker’s death, or possessing a gun, as a concerned friend had already told cops.
With emerging fact however, Gaul through his defense attorney presented a different story to jurors during his trial on charges of first-degree murder, especially aggravated stalking and tampering with evidence, this month at Knox County Criminal Court.
The defense conceded that Gaul did fire a gun at the Walker home around 3 a.m. on November 21, 2016, but not with the intention of harming Emma. It was designed to win her attention and affection, the defense argued.
“There was no response. I said, ‘Emma.’ There was no response,” the victim’s mother, Jill Walker, told jurors last week.
“I was checking for a pulse. There was no response.”
On Tuesday, jurors heard closing arguments from lawyers in the case. Four hours later the panel returned their verdict. William Riley Gaul was GUILTY of first-degree murder and tampering with evidence
“I wouldn’t hurt that girl. I would hurt myself before I hurt her.” Gaul [left], told cops after shooting his ex-girlfriend , Emma Walker [right], as she slept in her bed at home.
High school football standout William Gaul [left], dated cheer leader, Emma Walker [right]. She had just broken up with the college student
Each side has a vastly different explanation for what brought Gaul to Walker’s one-story home that night with his grandfather’s gun in hand. Prosecutors allege that Gaul, who was dressed in all black, was a “premeditated cold-hearted killer” who fired several rounds into Walker’s bedroom with the express purpose of killing her, an act of anger stemming from the dissolution of their rocky two-year relationship.
“He was possessive. He was manipulative. He was controlling. He was toxic to her,” prosecutor Kevin Allen said during closing arguments on Tuesday, 10 News reports.
“His plan was to get away with his, his plan was to never get caught,” he added.
Gaul’s team argues that Walker’s death was an accident, a foolish attempt to scare her in a bid to win back her affection that went terribly awry.
The defense argued that the defendant indulged in reckless behavior rather than premeditated felony murder.
“Mr. Gaul committed the offense of reckless endangerment with the hope of coming to her rescue, of being her hero,” defense attorney Wesley Stone told jurors last week,
William Riley Gaul allegedly fired a gun into the Walker’s home “with exact proximity to where the victim, Emma Walker was sleeping” The Maryville College football[…]
“Go to your car with your keys,” one of the texts said, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.
“Go alone.… I’ve got someone you love. If you don’t comply I will hurt them.” “We have him now,” the texts continued. “If you don’t care about him anymore then it shouldn’t bother you. Call the police, and he dies. Your choice.… If you’d like to hear his final screams, give me a call. He’s in a ditch beside [the] house. It’s a shame you can all of a sudden not value someone’s life.”
Victim: Emma had received some bizarre texts purporting that Gaul was a kidnap victim on the day she died. It was later proven that Gaul himself was behind the texts
Suspecting Gaul was behind the texts, she walked outside, her friends testified at trial.
“We see a figure laying down on the ground, facedown, like covering his face,” Zach Greene told jurors.
It was Gaul, who claimed he’d been “hit over the head” and couldn’t remember anything. He later told his own incredulous friends that he’d been kidnapped, too.
The friends, including his room mate, last week testified that they did not believe his story.
Tenn football player, William Riley Gaul, accused of killing girlfriend asked pals ‘to hide gun’
“We knew that this was not really a kidnapping,” Isaac Ewers said in court on Thursday.
Gaul’s friend Alex McCarty testified that he told cops about the gun Gaul had after Walker’s death, at which point police gave him a wire to gather evidence. On Thursday, jurors watched a secret recording of Gaul, in which he tells his friends that he wanted “to be upset” over his ex-girlfriend’s death, but was too worried about getting busted by police. He then asked them to help him dispose of the gun.
“I’m trusting you guys with my life because this is 70 years in jail if I’m convicted of something I didn’t do,” he says at one point in the video.
Sitting on a couch, Gaul insisted he’d never hurt Walker—and only had the gun because he was “scared.” He begs them to tell police they got their story all wrong.
“You just tell them you were on acid, high and drunk, and you didn’t understand me,” Gaul said. “Yeah, just do that, because they don’t know anything or I would be in jail right now.”
Gaul tried to recruit his friends to lie for him in an elaborate cover up
“There’s not a human on earth that can make the impact that you’ve had on my life,” he’d written about Walker on Twitter the day before his arrest. “I miss you more than anything. You’ll weigh heavy on my mind for the rest of my life because no one can fill the void that’s in my heart now.”
His plan was to deny knowledge of the shooting and get rid of evidence by tossing the gun in the Tennessee River,at a spot called “the Bluffs.” But Gaul, who had no idea law enforcement had him under surveillance, was intercepted before he could dispose of the murder weapon.
Shortly after he pulled out the weapon in his car to show to his friend, police arrived, arresting him on murder charges.