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Jurors have questions in gay-bashing trial

Kathryn Knott, 25, is on trial, accused of participating in an attack last year on a gay couple in Center City.

Kathryn G. Knott.

A PHILADELPHIA jury deliberated for about four hours Wednesday without reaching a verdict in the trial of Kathryn Knott, the Bucks County woman accused of participating in an assault last year on a gay couple in Center City.

The Common Pleas panel of eight women and four men will resume deliberations Thursday.

Knott, 25, of Southampton, is charged with two counts each of aggravated assault, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person, and one count of conspiracy.

She was one of three people charged in an assault on the gay couple, Zachary Hesse, now 29, and Andrew Haught, now 28, who were walking on Chancellor Street, just south of Walnut, near 16th, on their way to get pizza.

Knott had been in a group of 15 people - seven women, eight men. After one man in her group - Kevin Harrigan - called Hesse and Haught an antigay slur, a scuffle ensued.

Hesse testified Harrigan and others punched him. He said he saw Knott come toward him with an open hand, and he closed his eyes, and was hit. Prosecutors say other witnesses back that up.

Hesse and Haught have also testified Knott yelled out the antigay slur, "f----t."

The defense contends Knott didn't punch anyone and didn't yell any antigay slurs.

Haught was seriously injured by another person in Knott's group - Philip Williams.

Jurors on Wednesday asked the court to see a written copy of the charges Knott faces, all the videos that had been played during the trial and statements some witnesses gave to police detectives.

They wanted to see Hesse's and Haught's statements.

They also asked to see statements given by three independent witnesses - two women who were waiting at a bus stop and who then saw part of the fight, and that from a man who lived in a third-floor apartment on Chancellor Street.

Jurors also requested the police statement of a friend of Knott's, Taylor Peltzer, who was part of Knott's group that night.

In October, Williams, 25, of Warminster, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and conspiracy; Harrigan, 27, of Warrington, pleaded guilty to simple assault and conspiracy.

Under plea deals, both Bucks County men were sentenced to probation and community service, to pay restitution, and were banned from coming to Center City during their probation.