Jurors in the trial of Kathryn Knott clearly weren't buying what the convicted Philadelphia gay basher was trying to sell on the witness stand last week.
After a trial that lasted five days from opening statements to verdict, jurors in the trial of Kathryn Knott are speaking out about the testimony of the convicted Philadelphia gay basher from Bucks County, PhillyMag reports.
Knott, who was convicted Friday of simple assault, reckless endangerment and conspiracy to commit simple assault, stood trial alone. Her two former co-defendants Philip Williams and Kevin Harrigan both accepted plea deals in the September 11, 2014 attack on gay couple Zach Hesse and Andrew Haught. And while Williams and Harrigan received considerably light sentences that included $1,000 in restitution, community service and probation, Knott, whose father is a suburban police chief thought she could beat the wrap.
Outside of eyewitness testimony and video surveillance footage, some of the most damning evidence in Knott's case came from her history of anti-gay comments on social media, which were admitted into evidence. During her defense testimony, Knott attempted to shrug off a tweet that said "@krisssstenxoxo the ppl we were just dancing with just turned and mafe out with eatch other #gay #ew," by claiming the word "gay" in this context meant "lame" instead of happy or homosexual.
The jury wasn't buying it.
"We were pretty disgusted," juror Aristeo Duenas told PhillyMag. "It was pretty embarrassing to watch her testify. All of it was right in front of her. You know, she would have become a better character to me if she said, 'You know what, I messed up, I said those things, it was stupid.' I felt like she had this air of invincibility that whatever she was thinking, everyone else was thinking."
Not everyone on the jury shared Duenas' opinion of Knott's tweets. Joan Bellinger, 67, the jury foreperson, considered the social media activity irrelevant to the case. Bellinger admitted that going into the case she felt that Knott was innocent, but as the evidence in the trial mounted, she changed her mind.
"I just felt so bad for [the victims]," Bellinger said. "This is so unnecessary. It just never should have happened. Everything about it was wrong. It's just not fair to them. It's not fair to anyone with any sensibility. It's just not fair that this kind of thing happens ... all the evidence supported her guilt."
Juror Gina Cook said she would have preferred if Knott had been convicted of all charges, but was happy that "justice was served." She was particularly disturbed that Knott, an emergency room nurse at the time (she's since been fired), didn't bother to call 9-1-1 after the attack.
"When you do nothing, you do something," Cook said.
Likewise, Duenas, a 33-year-old teacher, was also quick to dismiss Knott's sworn testimony, who claimed she had no idea that Haught (who was left bleeding on the sidewalk and had to have his jaw wired shut for two months), was seriously injured, even though she heard ambulances sirens going off after she and her friends left the site of the attack.
"She said, 'We're in the city, there's ambulances going by,'" Duenas said. "I live in the city. I rode my bike here. There aren't always ambulances going by. It's not this violent part of the city. They're at 16th and Chancellor. That's not a violent part of the city - well, it wasn't. It became one."
Sentencing for Knott will take place on February 8. Both Cook and Duenas each said they hope she gets jail time.