Suspect’s friends take stand, prosecution shows body camera footage of Gaul’s arrest

Local News

Witness testimony began first thing on the fourth day of the trial for Riley Gaul, a Maryville College student who is accused of shooting and killing 16-year-old Central High School student Emma Walker while she slept at her family home in Knoxville. 

Witnesses were those who know Gaul best, including his friends. Two of them, as seen in a nearly two-hour body camera video, were asked by Gaul to help him get rid of his grandfathers gun. 

“We’re terrified for him, obviously, if this man has been kidnapped,” said Isaac Ewers, the first of Gaul’s friends to take the stand. 

Ewers said he urged Gaul to turn himself in after Emma’s death. He says of Gaul’s close friends, they knew he had a gun the weekend before Walker’s death. 

Alex McCarty said he saw the handgun on Saturday night. The defense asked if it made sense to give a gun back to someone with suicidal thoughts. McCarty replied, “Hindsight is 20/20.” 

McCarty said the group of friends were concerned for Gaul in the days leading up to Walker’s death, even concerned he would say he had been kidnapped, something all of his friends on the witness stand say they never believed. 

Assistant District Attorney Kevin Allen introduced a body camera video, lasting nearly two hours. The footage, some of it black with only audio, showed the time leading to Gaul’s arrest on November 22, 2016. 

At this point, McCarty’s testimony shows Gaul’s friends contacted law enforcement after Emma Walker’s death. They wore a wire and body camera capturing Gaul talking about Walker’s death, a vigil held for her the same day he said he didn’t attend because there were rumors he was involved in her death..

Then, the three – Alex McCarty, Noah Walton and Gaul – drive to Cook-Out for food, and finally, Gaul’s stepfather Seth Donilon’s house. 

In the video, McCarty and Walton are whispering, while Gaul is inside. When he returns, he is carrying a black trash bag, which through McCarty’s testimony, he saw black clothing and white gloves. 

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