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Philly hate crime case: Antigay tweets can be admitted as evidence against Kathryn Knott

Philly hate crime case: Antigay tweets can be admitted as evidence against Kathryn Knott

During a pretrial motion this week, a judge ruled that homophobic and Islamophobic tweets posted by 25-year-old Kathryn Knott to her Twitter account will be admitted as evidence in the trial against her, which is set to begin in just a few weeks.

As you may remember, Knott — ironically a former emergency room technician and daughter of a local police chief — was accused in September 2014 of savagely beating up a gay couple while screaming antigay slurs in Center City, PA along with two cohorts.

As a result of the attack, one of the men had to have his jaw wired shut for several weeks.

Knott’s two alleged accomplices in the attack, Philip Williams and Kevin Harrigan, both accepted plea deals earlier this year, but Knott chose to fight the charges against her in court.

She may be regretting that decision now.

Some of the Knott’s tweets being entered into evidence include:

  • @krisssstenxoxo the ppl we were just dancing with just turned and mafe out with eatch other #gay #ew
  • jazz flute is for little fairy boys
  • My cab driver starting shouting some jihad shit so I starting singing America the beautiful #merrica.
  • @g0_nads he’s gonna rip me today for my hair..just wait. #dyke
  • this camo song is gay like all the other brad paisley songs

Knott’s attorney tried saying that including the tweets in the trial would be “character assassination” and asked that they not be admitted as evidence.

But Michael Barry, chief of the District Attorney’s Central Division, argued that the tweets were “overwhelmingly relevant” in establishing Knott’s motivation for the attacks as “a number of tweets … clearly indicate a general dislike to a disgust of gays and lesbians and people of other backgrounds.”

“She does not like gay people. This is why the fight happened,” Barry said. “She’s one of the people who jumped in and joined the assault.”

In the end, Judge Roxanne Covington ruled the tweets did, in fact, exhibit an alleged bias against minorities and, therefore, could be used in the trial.

Knott faces one count of conspiracy, two counts of aggravated assault and related offenses. Jury selection is expected take place on December 9, with opening statements likely begin the following day.


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