Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect that the Sunliner Diner is located in Pigeon Forge.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The murder trial for the suspect of accused of fatally stabbing 19-year-old Savannah Burford outside a Pigeon Forge diner is set to begin this month.
The trial is set to begin Wednesday, April 27 after being previously postponed. Gabriel Enrique Turcios, 20, is facing charges of first-degree murder and aggravated assault in the death of Burford in January 2020 at Sunliner Diner in Pigeon Forge.
The two teens were coworkers at Sunliner Diner in Pigeon Forge at the time of her death. Turcios is accused of stabbing Burford in the parking lot behind the diner as she was waiting to be picked up.
According to a lawsuit filed by Burford’s family after her death, in the weeks leading up to her murder, Turcios was aggressive toward her and exhibited stalking behavior.
Prosecutors had stated they were seeking a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
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The trial was postponed in December 2021 following a filing for a notice of insanity in November of that same year. Documents stated the purpose of the postponement was to allow the prosecution time to find an expert witness and allow them to evaluate and respond to Turcios’ defense expert witness opinion.