Crime scene analysis focus during day 5 trial of football player accused of killing ex-girlfriend

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – More prosecution testimony and more crime scene evidence were shared on day five of the trial for a former football player accused of killing a cheerleader who used to be his girlfriend.

Riley Gaul is charged with the murder of Emma Walker, 16, who was shot to death in her own bedroom. That gunfire killed her, coming through the wall of her home.

Related:Murdered Knox County cheerleader’s mother speaks about daughter, scholarship fund

During Thursday’s court proceedings, the jurors were shown secretly recorded video from a body camera worn by one of Gaul’s friends showing the time leading up to Gaul’s arrest in November 2016.

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

Friday’s proceedings focused on crime analysis. The photos and videos captured by investigators, that attorneys played during testimony, was not allowed to be recorded by our cameras because Emma Walker was a juvenile.

First called to the witness stand was Kenneth Cookson, an employee at AT&T. He provided cell phone records. Cookson’s testimony was brief but he discussed cell phone towers, latitude and longitude, as well as the number of calls requested for the Gaul trial.

One civilian witness was called to the stand: Walker Stanley, who was Gaul’s roommate at Maryville College.

Stanley says while they didn’t get to know each other well, he had met Emma Walker and noticed Gaul was having problems. Prosecutors referenced the days leading up to and then after Emma’s death.

“With regard to contact with Riley Gaul, did you receive a Snapchat from Riley Gaul after you were contacted by the police?” asked the prosecutor.

Stanley answered that he did; the attorney then asked what Gaul requested in the Snapchat.

“To not talk to the police,” answered Stanley.

Jurors then left the courtroom as pictures, taken by investigators, of evidence involving the firearm, crime scene, numbered pieces of evidence and inside Emma’s bedroom were discussed. Prosecutors argued they should be shown because only seconds would be spent on the photos.

KCSO forensic technician Nikki Bules took the witness stand explaining some of the crime scene photos she took. Bags of evidence were brought to her and attorneys asked her to open them, then explain the contents. At one point, attorneys had her stand and show the jury the shell casing and firearm she recovered as evidence.

Two TBI investigators also took the stand, one who tests and identifies firearms, the other specializing in forensic testing.

“I examined a wrapper from the crime scene, a blood standard from Emma Walker, a glock-19 handgun, two shoes from a Hyundai Tucson, two gloves from a Hyundai Tucson, sweatpants and a sweatshirt from the same Tucson and then a number of buckle swabs from different individuals,” said TBI Agent Kendall Stoner.

There was discussion regarding some of the more graphic photos and video taken by KCSO investigators. Ultimately the judge decided to allow the video and audio from that recording to be played for jurors.

A number of Emma’s friends, along with her family, came to court in purple, some of the shirts saying “Rest Easy EJW.”

The trial will pick up again Monday morning.

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