In a truly horrific case, an 18-year-old football player has been charged with the first-degree murder of his ex-girlfriend after allegedly shooting her dead because he “refused to accept” their breakup.
The Knoxville, Tennessee high school junior Emma Walker, 16, was allegedly shot and killed by William Gaul as she slept in her bedroom, according to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, who say it appeared she’d been hit from outside the house.
Her body was found at about 6:30 a.m. Monday, US time, and detectives were immediately suspicious of Maryville College wide receiver Gaul; he was placed surveillance, due to concern he’d destroy evidence connected to the murder, and taken into custody late Tuesday night.
Most chilling of all is that, just hours after Walker was killed, Gaul took to Twitter to post a series of tributes professing his love for her.
In this length letter, he wrote: “Just knowing you have someone that’s so in love with you gives you so much hope for your life ahead, and it can be taken away, just like that.”
I love you Emma, I can’t be around any of that yet, it’s too soon. I know you know I’m dying to be there but understand I can’t. I love you.
— Riley (@rileygaul) November 22, 2016
Gaul also changed his Twitter bio to read: “Living everyday through Emma Walker. I love you beautiful and I know you’re in a better place now.”
Walker’s aunt, Jenny Weldon, told media that her niece – who hoped to study neonatal nursing after at uni – had weeks earlier “chosen to move on” from her relationship with Gaul but that “he refused to accept it”.
“He chose not to accept her wishes,” she said.
Friends and family of Walker’s crowded her school’s football stands for a candlelit vigil in her honour on Tuesday night, posting messages remembering on social media.
— syd (@thesydneyd) November 21, 2016
Gaul is being held on a US$750,000 bond at the Knox County Jail and a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for December 2.
Source: Knoxville News Sentinel.
Photo: Twitter / @emma_walker18.