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College football player accused of killing high school cheerleader

A football player at Division III Maryville (Tennessee) College faces a first-degree murder charge in the shooting death of a 16-year-old girl.

Knox County Sheriff's Office officials announced Wednesday that William Riley Gaul, a freshman wide receiver, was arrested in connection with the death of Emma Walker. Officials said Gaul was being held at the Knox County Jail on $750,000 bond.

A preliminary hearing has been set for Dec. 2.

Sheriff's officials said Walker was found dead of a gunshot wound inside her house Monday morning. Officials said evidence at the scene indicted Gaul fired shots into her bedroom from outside the house while she slept.

The victim's aunt said the two had recently ended their relationship, but Gaul refused to accept the breakup.

Walker was a student at Central High School in Knoxville, Tennessee. Maryville's football roster indicates Gaul graduated from Central High.

Maryville athletic department spokesman Chris Cannon said in a statement that, "Maryville College is cooperating fully with the Knox County Sheriff's Department in this investigation. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim's family and friends and other individuals affected by this tragedy."

Maryville coach Shaun Hayes said through a spokesman that Gaul has been dismissed from the football program. Maryville already has completed its season.

WLS-TV contributed to this report.
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