Society

Student Allegedly Murdered Girlfriend For Dumping Him

| by David Bonner

An 18-year-old man who is accused of murdering his 16-year-old girlfriend was released on $1 million bail on Jan. 20.

William Riley Gaul was released from jail in Knoxville, Tennessee, the sheriff's office announced. Days earlier, Gaul was charged with first-degree murder, aggravated stalking and tampering with evidence, reports The Tennessean.

Gaul was arrested Nov. 22, after his former girlfriend Emma Jane Walker was found shot to death in her bedroom. Authorities say Gaul shot her while standing outside her bedroom window.

Walker had recently broken off the relationship, but Gaul professed his love for her on Twitter before and after she was found dead. His Twitter bio also read: "Living everyday through Emma Walker. I love you beautiful and I know you're in a better place now."

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Gaul was reportedly so heartbroken over the breakup that he had threatened suicide in conversations with his family, according to a search warrant.

The suspect allegedly began stalking Walker weeks before she was murdered, according to the indictment. Prosecutors say the suspect stole the murder weapon from his grandfather.

Gaul's grandfather said that two days before the murder, he briefly switched vehicles with his grandson, and later noticed the gun he kept under the seat was missing, and he reported it stolen.

A friend of Gaul told police the suspect had asked him to help hide the gun, reports WATE. The friend then led police to the gun, which had the same serial number as the one stolen from the grandfather.

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Gaul and Walker met while attending the same high school, but Gaul had since graduated and was attending nearby Maryville College.

In a statement, the college said: "Maryville College is cooperating fully with the Knox County Sheriff’s Department in this investigation. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family and friends and other individuals affected by this tragedy."

Gaul is scheduled for his next arraignment on Feb. 13.

Sources: Daily Mail, Tennessean, WATE / Photo credit: Facebook via Daily Mail

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