Former wrestler Billy Jack Haynes charged with murder over wife's death

Former WWF star Billy Jack Haynes has been charged with murder over the death of his wife, Janette Becraft, who was shot at their home last month.

Billy Jack Hynes

Former WWF star Billy Jack Haynes has been charged with murder over the death of his wife.

Police in Portland, Oregon, were called to a shooting at the house shared by the 70-year-old grappler and his 85-year-old spouse Janette Becraft on the morning of 8 February and when cops determined the suspect was still inside the property, they called the Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) and the Crisis Negotiation Team for assistance.

When cops eventually got into the house, they found the body of a woman, who they later identified as Janette, who had been shot dead.

Police identified Billy as the suspect and, after he was briefly treated in hospital for an unrelated medical condition, he was taken to the Multnomah County Detention Center and charged with murder in the second degree and unlawful use of a weapon.

According to Fox 12, the wrestler refused for hours to surrender to authorities before eventually handing himself in.

A neighbour told the news outlet Janette suffered from dementia and she had previously looked after her in her home while Billy was in hospital after breaking his ribs in a fall.

Another local resident, Birlynn Matthieu, told the outlet: “A great community around here. A lot of veterans…. My dad’s a vet as well and so is Billy, and I did love him dearly and we loved Jan as well. Like I said, it’s a tragedy all around."

Billy was arraigned in court on Thursday (29.02.24) and will go on trial on 11 April.

The sportsman made a name for himself in the 1980s, competing in what was then known as the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) - later WWE - before retiring in 1996. During his time in the ring, he faced off against the likes of 'Macho Man' Randy Savage and Ric Flair.

He was one of several former wrestlers to sue the organisation for "egregious mistreatment", alleging they hadn't sufficiently protected the fighters from head injuries.

The class-action lawsuit was dismissed in 2019.

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