A former WWE wrestler, William “Billy Jack” Haynes, has been arrested following the death of his 85-year-old wife, who was found shot in their Portland, Oregon home earlier this week.
Portland police reported that Haynes, aged 70, is currently in police custody at a local hospital, receiving treatment for an unrelated condition, while investigations into the homicide of his wife, Janette Becraft, continue.
“Once he is released from the hospital, which may be days from now, he is expected to be booked into jail. Haynes’ charges will be released once he is booked,” police said in a press release.
Becraft was discovered deceased in the couple’s Lents residence on Thursday morning following a tense standoff involving Haynes, who was identified by authorities.
Residents in the vicinity were instructed to take shelter as police endeavoured to negotiate Haynes's surrender, suspecting he may have still been armed.
Becraft’s body was located after officers managed to enter the property. While no further details have been disclosed regarding the events leading up to her death, police confirmed that she had sustained a fatal gunshot wound.
Brilynn Matthieu, a resident who shares the same house with Haynes and Becraft, revealed to The Oregonian that she had occasionally assisted Haynes in caring for Becraft, who was suffering from dementia.
She mentioned that the former wrestler had fallen and injured himself on Tuesday (February 7) but left the hospital before receiving treatment for his injuries, as he was deeply concerned about his wife's condition.
“He came back and told her, ‘You know I couldn’t be away from you,’” she was quoted as saying. “And she just rolled her eyes in a cute little way.”
Her father, Thomas Matthieu, expressed shock at the tragic turn of events, noting that Haynes and Becraft “adored each other” and were “inseparable.”
“Everywhere they went they were hand in hand. It’s surreal,” he said.
Other neighbours interviewed by the newspaper expressed shock at Becraft’s tragic death, noting that they had never observed any signs of trouble between the couple.
Haynes rose to prominence in the wrestling world during the late 1980s and was involved in a class-action lawsuit against the WWE in 2014, alleging the company's failure to safeguard wrestlers against repeated head injuries. However, the lawsuit was dismissed in 2019.