The Knight brothers, Joshua, 19, Adam, 20, and Scott, 23, have been convicted of murder in a case where the perpetrators used various professional wrestling and MMA maneuvers including suplexes, DDTs, and John Cena's signature finish, the Attitude Adjustment, on a vulnerable victim, Delyth Andrews, 54. The 4'11" Andrews endured an attack that lasted for approximately six hours. She would succumb to the injuries that she sustained in the assault seven weeks later.
Although all three brothers entered pleas of not guilty for their murder charges, Joshua and Adam offered guilty pleas to the lesser charge of manslaughter. Moreover, the Knights were charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent before Andrews' condition deteriorated at the end of November 2015. Andrews passed away in December 2015 and a pathologist concluded her death was a result of the injuries she had received during the assault.
Johnathan Higgs QC, legal counsel for Adam Knight, appeared to question whether the Knight brothers, who had been consuming a synthetic cannabinoid during the assault, had the requisite intent to be convicted of murder. Higgs said, "there was an absence of understanding by the brothers about what they had done."
Judge Adele Williams declared that the Knight brothers are "equally responsible, equally guilty" and that the killers "treated Delyth Andrews with the utmost cruelty and callousness and terrorised her - what [they] did was slow torture over many hours".
Williams also took aim at the Knight brothers' mother, Elaine Morely, who failed to seek out help for many hours the night of the attack. Williams professed that Morely "must bear responsibility in a moral sense, if not a legal one, for her own cruelty, her own dishonesty."
The Knight brothers began living with Andrews in her Ramsgate home, as she befriended Morely, who was homeless at the time. Andrews invited Morely to live with her, and Morely moved her sons in to live with them shortly thereafter.
The Knights and their mother stayed with Andrews rent-free. The boys stripped the home to buy drugs, punched holes in a door, and Morley put her foot through a glass panel. Friends and neighbors commented that Andrews' home began to look like a drug den after the Knights moved in.
On November 16, 2015, the Knights assaulted Andrews for hours, from 8 pm or 9 pm till 3 am. Philip Bennetts QC, for the prosecution, said the Knight brothers "jumped onto [Andrews] from the sofa and did rainbow flips, T-Bones, Cliffhangers, and [Attitude Adjustments]." Andrews' fatal injuries included a broken back, pelvis, and ribs.
Andrews' estranged sister, Sian Brown, admitted that she has feelings of regret that she could not have done more for her sister, who suffered from bipolar disorder.
"She always knew how to get hold of us if she needed us. She had done it regularly in the past and we were confident that she would do it again." Brown continued, "but the fact that we heard nothing led us to assume that all was well."
A spokesperson for WWE offered the company's condolences to the deceased's family and friends and supported the court's decision. Also, WWE took the opportunity to distance itself from the professional wrestling moves that were implicated throughout the case.
"We doubt the veracity of their statements that WWE moves were used when in fact there are no moves such as rainbow flips, T-Bones and Cliffhangers." The spokesperson added, "we are appalled that WWE has been senselessly dragged into this heinous crime."
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