New details about the events of Sept. 11, 2014, emerged Friday on the second day of Kathryn Knott's gay-bashing trial, a day marked by frequent interruptions and lengthy breaks.
The trial, scheduled for 9 a.m., got underway around 10:30, after an unrelated sentencing hearing. Knott, dressed in black pants and a gray sweater, sat with her parents, sister and other family members during the first proceeding.
Andrew Haught, who suffered the brunt of the assault, testified first.
Prosecutors contend Knott physically and verbally attacked Haught and his boyfriend, Zachary Hesse, during a confrontation at 16th and Chancellor streets seemingly sparked by Haught and Hesse's being a couple. Knott is charged with two counts each of aggravated and simple assault, conspiracy and reckless endangerment. Her co-defendants, Kevin Harrigan and Philip Williams, accepted plea deals this fall and will serve no jail time. Knott rejected a similar deal.
On the stand, Haught, 28, detailed the extent of his injuries. He spent five days in Hahnemann University Hospital being treated for broken bones.
"I just wanted to go home but the doctor told me my face was broken in numerous places," he testified.
Haught, 28, underwent surgery and had his jaw wired shut for eight weeks, losing 15 pounds.
"There was this appliance with insanely sharp hooks screwed into my jawbone," Haught testified. "I've never felt pain like that. It was metal drilled all the way into my jawbone."
The jury of eight women and four men listened Friday as Haught testified that Knott was pushing and swinging at Hesse during the incident. He said Knott and other females repeatedly called them faggots.
"The girls were intense; I was really surprised," he said. "Everyone in the group was out to make sure we knew we were dirty faggots."
Assistant District Attorney Allison Ruth played a video clip of the aftermath of the melee, showing Haught bloodied on the street. She also displayed a photo array -- a series of eight photos of similarly looking individuals, with one actual suspect included, automatically generated by a computer -- with Knott's photo circled; Haught had picked her from the line-up as having punched Hesse and screamed the antigay slurs.
On cross-examination, defense attorney Louis Busico highlighted that, in his initial police statement, Haught singled out Harrigan and a woman in a black dress as the people he thought he could identity. Ruth followed up that Haught maintained throughout his interviews that three females were aggressors.
Haught testified for about an hour. Hesse took the stand Thursday afternoon, the last of five witnesses that day.
After Haught, the prosecution called eyewitness Michelle Moore, who arrived late to the courthouse.
Moore, 21, was waiting at a bus stop at 16th and Walnut streets with two friends the night of the incident. Moore testified that she and her friends ran toward a commotion and saw a blonde woman in a "white-ish" dress punching a man, as well as a man punching a man.
After the group dispersed, she and her friends approached the victims.
"I thought he was dead," she testified about Haught. "He had blood all over his face, a wound on his cheek. He started talking so we knew he wasn't dead and he was saying, 'Where are they?'"
Moore and her friends waited until police arrived and left. She picked up a tote bag from the street, thinking it belonged to one of the assailants and intending to take money from it.
Moore kept the phone and left the bag at the bus stop. After seeing the incident on the news the next day, and learning the bag belonged to the victims, Moore contacted detectives and returned the phone, she testified.
On Sept. 16, Moore was interviewed by detectives and asked if she could identity any assailants. She affirmed she remembered "the lady beating on the man." The next day, Moore selected Knott's photo from a line-up of blonde women.
On cross-examination, Busico emphasized that Moore described the woman's dress as black and white, not just white -- the color Knott was wearing -- in two police interviews. He also noted Knott's photo in the line-up was the first, and the only showing someone smiling.
On re-direct, Moore maintained to Assisant District Attorney Mike Barry that she is confident Knott was the woman she saw punch one of the men.
"That [photo] was the one that looked like the one who did it," she said.
One of Moore's companions, Rachel Mondesir, testified yesterday that she saw a female, whom she described as a brunette, in a white dress punch a man.
When asked why she was participating in the trial, Moore elicited some laughs from the jury and crowd when she responded, "Because it was wrong. And I was subpoenaed."
Medical, law-enforcement witnesses
Following a lunch break, prosecutors called Detective Ralph Domenick, a 25-year veteran of the force who has been a detective for 10 years. He is assigned to Central Detectives, which covers Center City and North Philadelphia.
He led the investigation into this case with partner Detective James Wearing.
Domenick's testimony was halted a few minutes into it because a juror motioned that he was going to be sick. After a brief break, the jury returned and Domenick detailed the timeline of his investigation.
He said he was notified of the incident, which he said he was told was a "possible hate crime," the morning of Sept. 12. This marked the first time in the trial that the words "hate crime" were invoked.
Domenick said he called Hesse and scheduled an interview for Sept. 15 and then went to the scene.
"The first thing I noticed was blood on the sidewalk," Domenick testified.
He and Wearing obtained video surveillance from the nearby Lanesborough condominium building, which was shown in court and depicted a group of young, white adults walking in front of the building. Domenick and Wearing interviewed the victims in their home three days later, Domenick speaking to Hesse int he kitchen and Wearing taking Haught's statement in the living room, "to see if their stories matched up," the detective testified.
They showed the couple the Lanesborough video only after they completed their interviews, Domenick said. That video, he added, did not show faces.
Domenick's testimony was interrupted by the introduction of Dr. Andrew Miller, Haught's surgeon, whose tight schedule necessitated his taking the stand. Barry qualified Miller as an expert witness.
Miller, 34, was in his sixth year as a resident at Hahnemann last year, serving as chief resident of oral surgery. He used a skull replica to demonstrate to the jury Haught's injuries.
He said his jaw was fracture straight across, under the nose. The floor of his eye socket was also broken and there was nerve damage around the other eye, indicating he was punched at least three times, Miller testified.
Miller performed a closed reduction of the jaw fracture, inserting two bars across the jawbone, securing them with 16 8mm screws and wiring the jaw shut.
Miller said Haught would have been in "significant discomfort" prior to the surgery and was given pain medication for several weeks after.
When Domenick returned to the stand, prosecutors played surveillance video from Republic Bank that showed Knott's group leaving the scene. This was the first video released to the media, which Domenick said sparked a quick response.
"Almost immediately" they got tips, he said. "I don't remember what time it was on the news, but say it was 6 o'clock, by 6:05, we had tips."
Barry suggested that this video seems to show that Knott's dress was not completely white, which could explain Moore's recollection of the dress being both white and black.
Domenick testified that Hesse did not identify Knott in a photo array shown to him, but Hought did.
He added that, while the evidence indicated more members of the group than the three arrested may have been involved, "the identifications, corroboration and interviews didn't lend themselves" to warrants being issued.
Judge Roxanne Covington excused the jury at the conclusion of Barry's direct examination of Domenick, who will return for cross-examination by Busico Monday morning.