PHILADELPHIA - A young woman charged with taking part in a group assault on a gay couple in Philadelphia told jurors she never struck the victims or shouted slurs at them.
Kathryn Knott, 25, took the stand Tuesday in her own defense in the September 2014 attack that left one man with a broken jaw and severe facial injuries.
Knott, leaving a birthday celebration with a large group of friends, said that she ran toward the fight initially to try to defuse it.
Two male co-defendants have pleaded guilty and received probation - and were barred from downtown - but Knott chose to fight the charges. She faces several years in prison if convicted of aggravated assault and other crimes.
Knott, the daughter of a suburban police chief, was out with friends from her Catholic high school when they encountered the couple and started spewing profanity-laced slurs, prosecutors said. Before long, the victims were being pummeled.
Knott's lawyer has downplayed the alleged gay-bashing motive and co-defendants Philip Williams and Kevin Harrington denied any homophobic intent.
Knot, testifying for more than an hour Tuesday, was forced to explain tweets about being banned from a bar, kicking down a door during a police raid with her father, and having him track down and ticket a driver who ran her off the road.
She said she did not remember why she was thrown out of the bar in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
"I was in college on spring break and it was a poor decision," she said of posting the tweet.
Knott lost her job at a hospital following her arrest. She remains free on bail.