A two-hour standoff with police ended in tragedy when the wife of a former professional wrestler was found dead and he was arrested.
Thursday in the Lens neighborhood of Portland, Ore., officers responded to a report of a gunshot to find the resident, later identified as 70-year-old William Albert Haynes, uncooperative. As a result, the Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) and Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) were dispatched to the home of the former WWE and WrestleMania III star better known as Billy Jack Haynes.
After the neighborhood was placed under a shelter-in-place order, the lengthy standoff ended with the retired wrestler's surrender to authorities, who later discovered the man's wife, Janette Becraft, 85, had died of a single gunshot wound. homicide by the medical examiner.
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) February 10, 2024
According to KPTV, Becraft suffered from dementia and Haynes had been in the hospital with broken ribs from a fall before checking in to be with his wife.
“I stayed with her for a couple of days while he was in the hospital,” neighbor Breelyn Matthieu told the network. “He said he came home because he couldn't bear to be away from her.”
“He's a sweet guy,” said neighbor Steve Odri, who couldn't believe what had happened. “He said, 'Come whenever you want'. We'll sit down and have a beer. He was just your average Joe to me and one of my favorite heroes growing up.”
Odri also took issue with Haynes' numerous career-ending injuries in the mid-1990s, including numerous concussions that were listed in a 2014 class action lawsuit filed alongside more than 50 former wrestlers against WWE claiming they were. did not warn of the risk of repeated head injuries and that the organization had been fully aware of this.
The lawsuit claimed that WWE was responsible for the “egregious abuse of its wrestlers for its own benefit, as well as its concealment and denial of medical research and evidence regarding traumatic brain injuries suffered by WWE wrestlers.”
In 2021, the Supreme Court refused to hear the wrestlers' appeal ending the case that had begun before the National Football League acknowledged a link between the sport and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) , which led to his pledge of $100 million for research related to the condition.
In a tribute to his mother, Becraft's daughter from his previous marriage, Kim Becraft Finlay, published on Facebook, “You are flying with the angels now. They are lucky to have such a beautiful soul. I love you mom.”
The Portland Police Bureau said Saturday: “Once he is released from the hospital, which could be days to a few days from now, he is expected to be booked into jail. The charges Haynes will be released once booked.”
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