16-Year-Old Cheerleader Murdered By Football Player Ex-Boyfriend — Before He Wrote A Loving Tribute To Her Online

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A college football player has been charged with first-degree murder after fatally shooting his 16-year-old ex-girlfriend while she slept.

According to reports, Emma Jean Walker‘s body was discovered around 6:30 a.m. on Monday in her Tennessee home.

Police say the Central High School cheerleader was shot from outside the home by former boyfriend William Riley Gaul, who tweeted about how much he loved her before he was arrested Tuesday night.

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Jenny Weldon, the victim’s aunt, said Walker and Gaul had recently ended their relationship, but the 18-year-old athlete refused to accept the breakup. She told local press:

“She had chosen to move on. He refused to accept it. He chose not to accept her wishes.”

Weldon described her niece as a “beautiful soul” who was looking forward to graduating high school and begin working toward her dream of becoming a neonatal nurse.

Walker and Gaul had both been students at Central High before the football player graduated this year.

Hours after she was found dead, Gaul posted a disturbing tribute to the victim on Twitter, professing his love for Walker and reminiscing about the times they discussed a future together:

Gaul is being held on a $750,000 bond in the Knox County Jail. He will soon face court on murder charges in the upcoming days.

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Central High School Principal Michael Reynolds said in a statement on Wednesday:

“Our student was a wonderful young lady, a cheerleader and honor student with a promising future, whose life was cut too short, too soon. At this time, our hearts and thoughts and prayers are with the family as they go through this grieving process. We thank everyone in our community for their tremendous support.”

Friends and family flooded the school’s football stands during a vigil on Tuesday night. A memorial fund to assist the Walker family has already raised over $8,000 for funeral expenses.

Our hearts go out to the victim’s loved ones at this tragic time.

[Image via Knox County Sheriff’s Office/You Caring.]

Nov 23, 2016 5:42pm PST

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