Riley Gaul indicted on 7 counts

Editor’s Note: The following article is an updated/corrected version of an article published in the print issue of The Highland Echo on Feb. 22, 2017. This article contains corrections to the original story that was published. Clarifications include that William Riley Gaul has been indicted by the State of Tennessee as the investigation and trial are still in process.


Riley Gaul, ex-Maryville College student and football player, is currently charged with shooting and killing 16-year-old ex-girlfriend Emma Walker. Gaul was released on a $1 million bond on Jan. 30, 2017.

Following Gaul’s release, Jack Piepenbring, director of campus security, released a statement to the entire campus community via email.

“He is required to wear an electronic GPS monitor and is on ‘home arrest.’ Mr. Gaul has been notified that he is not permitted on the Maryville College campus,” said Piepenbring in his notice.

On Jan. 18, Gaul was indicted on seven different counts including first degree murder, especially aggravated stalking, theft, tampering with evidence, reckless endangerment, employing a firearm during a dangerous felony and felony murder by the State of Tennessee.

According to the indictment released by the Grand Jurors of the State of Tennessee, it has been presented that Gaul stalked Walker for some amount of days between October and November of 2016, and the murder was premeditated.

Under the third count of the indictment, Gaul is being charged with stealing the handgun used in the crime from his grandfather, James Walker, in order to use it to commit the crime.

Also according to the indictment, Gaul attempted to tamper with evidence by limiting the availability of the handgun that he has been accused of using while knowing the investigation was in progress.

In November of 2016, both the Maryville and Knoxville communities were shaken when news broke that a cheerleader from Central High School, the late Emma Walker, was pronounced dead after being shot through a bedroom wall. Gaul was the primary suspect for the case and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office were diligent in investigating the case.

Hours before his arrest, Gaul tweeted about his care for Walker.

“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,” said Gaul in his tweet.

Gaul is still currently out on bond, and his trial date is set for Aug. 1, 2017. Gaul is banned from the Maryville College campus.

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