Wrestler Billy Jack Haynes arrested; wife found dead after standoff

Billy Jack Haynes (State Archives of Florida/Thomas)

Billy Jack Haynes, a former Wrestlemania star, was arrested in Portland, Oregon, after police say he killed his wife in their home last week.

According to the Portland Police Bureau, officers responded Thursday morning to reports of a shooting in the city’s Lents neighborhood. William Albert Haynes, 70, was reportedly still in the house when police arrived and was detained after an hours-long standoff, FOX 12 Oregon reports.

When officers were able to get inside, they found Haynes’ wife, 85-year-old Janette Becraft, dead. Haynes was taken to a local hospital for conditions unrelated to the shooting or arrest, police say. He will be booked into jail when he’s released.

Haynes’ wrestling career spanned 15 years and put him in the ring alongside Ric Flair and Randy Savage, reports say. He had a spot on Wrestlemania in Detroit in 1987.

His neighbors told KPTV that Becraft struggled with dementia, and Haynes had recently been hospitalized for broken ribs after a fall. The neighbor said Haynes "suddenly checked out to be with his wife."

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Haynes was one of several former pro wrestlers who filed lawsuits against World Wrestling Entertainment, alleging it failed to protect them from repeated head injuries that led to long-term brain damage. The lawsuits were dismissed because they were filed too late, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear their appeals.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.