Deborah Roberts interviews Noah Walton and Alex McCarty, Riley’s close friends who carried out sting operation with police.
“20/20” investigates the tumultuous and allegedly emotionally abusive relationship of 18-year-old Riley Gaul and 16-year-old Emma Walker that turned deadly when she was shot in her sleep. ABC News correspondent Deborah Roberts reports the story’s bizarre details, including Riley’s claim he accidentally killed Emma after firing a gun in an attempt to scare her into getting back together with him. The hour also features an exclusive interview with defense attorney Wesley Stone, who shares Riley’s side of the story. “20/20” airs Friday, Sept. 14 (10:01–11:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC.
“20/20” features interviews with Jill and Mark Walker, Emma’s parents; Noah Walton and Alex McCarty, Riley’s close friends who carried out a sting operation with police that led to Riley’s arrest.; Kevin Allen and Molly Martin, prosecutors in the case; Allen Merritt and Steve Sanders, police detectives; and Keegan Lyle and Zach Greene, Emma’s close friends.
Riley, a football player, and Emma, a cheerleader, began as the quintessential high school couple. However, Riley’s positive first impressions quickly faded when Emma’s parents and friends say he started to control her every move. After their breakup in fall 2016, a strange chain of events unfolded: Riley attempted to take his own life; Emma received text messages from an unknown number claiming that Riley had been kidnapped; a man dressed in all black banged on Emma’s door while she was home alone; and Riley’s grandfather’s gun disappeared. When Emma was found dead, Riley denied involvement when speaking to police but asked Noah and Alex to help him dispose of a gun. Noah and Alex worked with police on a sting operation, which led authorities straight to the murder weapon. A jury found Riley guilty of first-degree murder with the judge imposing a mandatory life sentence with the possibility of parole. Riley will be formally sentenced this week on other convictions in the case, including theft of a firearm, tampering with evidence and reckless endangerment.
“20/20” is anchored by David Muir and Amy Robach. David Sloan is senior executive producer.