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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Hearing set for murder suspects

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Jason Starrick
(Bedford County Jail photo)
Sean Gearhardt
(Bedford County Jail photo)
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for early next year for four suspects accused of a murder-for-hire plot.

On Friday, Jan. 25, Sean Gearhardt, 20, Jason Starrick, 25, both of Antioch, as well as Susan Walls, 54, and Dawn Walls, 27, the wife and daughter of murder victim Larry Walls Sr., will appear before General Sessions Judge Charles Rich.

Walls, 55, was found dead in his home on Aug. 8, and investigators say that his wife and daughter allegedly paid Gearhardt and Starrick $400 to commit the murder.

At the January hearing, Rich will either hear evidence to see if there is enough proof to bind the four over to the Bedford County grand jury, or the suspects could waive their right to the hearing and be bound over.

Susan Walls
(Bedford County Jail photo)
Dawn Walls
(Bedford County Jail photo)
The four are currently held at Bedford County jail on $1 million bond each. The Walls are charged with criminal responsibility for the conduct of another to commit criminal homicide, while Gearhardt and Starrick face criminal homicide charges.


The men allegedly killed Walls at his Unionville home while the women were at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in Nashville. Gearhardt and Starrick were roommates with Dawn Walls in Antioch.

During a bond hearing in September, a TBI agent testified that Susan Walls gave a statement implicating herself in the plot to kill her husband. Gearhardt and Starrick were allegedly paid with cash and a debt card used at a gas station in Antioch.

Starrick allegedly held the victim in a headlock while Gearhardt struck him with a tire iron, and TBI testimony indicated that a statement from Starrick implicated Gearhardt in the slaying.

Gearhardt and Susan Walls have no criminal history, while Dawn had previous convictions in Rutherford County, and Starrick has a much longer criminal history, all in different counties around Tennessee.

Rich stated in September that the case before him was a "cold blooded murder, first degree murder," adding that it was "quite cheap at that."

District Attorney General Robert Carter stated in August that as the investigation into the case proceeds, charges could be changed from criminal homicide to first degree murder or other related counts.