Former WWE Star Billy Jack Haynes To Stand Trial For Murder In April

Former WWE star William "Billy Jack" Haynes appeared in court for the first time on Thursday; accused of shooting and killing his wife, Janette Becraft. Haynes is slated to stand trial on April 11 on charges of Murder in the Second Degree and Unlawful Use of a Weapon. On February 8, Portland Police responded to a reported shooting at Haynes' residence in the Lents Neighborhood, leading to a stand-off between him and law enforcement for hours.


After arresting Haynes, police found Becraft dead inside. Neighbors said that Becraft had been battling dementia, and were shocked at the news that Haynes had allegedly killed her. The Medical Examiner ruled that Becraft had died of homicide as a result of a gunshot wound. Following his arrest, Haynes was hospitalized for an unrelated matter, but upon release was booked into Multnomah County Detention Center and charged. 

Haynes retired from professional wrestling in 1996, having left WWE eight years earlier. He's since shared conflicting accounts on why he departed, either refusing to take a loss in a match in Portland and quitting the company, or working the match with a reworked finish and quitting afterward. In 2018, Haynes admitted to having witnessed the brutal murder of teenage boys in rural Arkansas in 1987 — an infamous unsolved case — while involved in drug trafficking. Haynes was one of many wrestlers involved in the class action lawsuit filed against WWE in the 2000s, alleging the company had been negligent regarding the brain health of wrestlers. The case was finally dismissed in 2016.