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Local leaders to dedicate dog park in memory of Emma Walker

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Knoxville, Tenn. —  Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, County Commissioner Michele Carringer, and businessman Randy Boyd will honor former Central High School student Emma Jane Walker on June 20 by renaming a  local dog park in her memory.

The event will be held at 9:30 a.m. at Tommy Schumpert Park, 6400 Fountain City Road.

Walker, the 16-year-old Central High School student who was tragically killed in November 2016, loved animals. Friends and family members say this is a great way to remember her life.

The dedication will change the name from PetSafe Dog Park to PetSafe Emma Jane Walker Memorial Dog Park. It is located inside of Tommy Schumpert Park.

Local philanthropist Randy Boyd, who owns PetSafe, signed off on the change. Mayor Burchett and Commissioner Carringer then brought the proposal to the Knox County Commission, which approved it in May.

Walker was a junior at Central High School and a member of the cheerleading squad. She also served in HOSA, the BETA Club and Young Life. Her friends called her a beautiful person with a caring soul who loved animals.

A jury last month found her ex-boyfriend, William Riley Gaul, guilty of first-degree murder. Gaul, who shot through Walker’s bedroom window as she slept, was given a mandatory life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole for 51 years.

Walkers’ family and a number of local leaders are expected to appear at the event.

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