No trial date yet for gay-bashing suspects

Pre-trial negotiations continue for the trio accused of physically and verbally attacking a gay couple in Center City this past fall. 

Attorneys for Kathryn Knott, Kevin Harrigan and Philip Williams were in court Thursday for the scheduled pre-trial bring back, an opportunity for defense attorneys and prosecutors to review evidence before a trial date is set or a plea agreement is reached. Another pre-trial bring back was scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 13 in Room 905 of the Criminal Justice Center, 1301 Filbert St.

The defendants were not in court Thursday. 

The three face aggravated assault, simple assault and conspiracy charges in connection with the Sept. 11 beating of Zachary Hess and Andrew Haught. The couple was walking near 16th and Chancellor when the three suspects allegedly taunted them about their sexual orientation and then physically assaulted them. 

Pennsylvania lacks an LGBT-inclusive hate-crimes law but the incident prompted Philadelphia City Council to enact such a measure. Knott, Harrigan and Williams couldn’t be charged under the law because it was adopted after the incident took place.