Morning Headlines: Kathryn Knott Seeks Lighter Sentence

The Scoop: Her co-defendants in Center City gay bashing got probation. She got jail.

Kathryn Knott walks from the criminal justice center Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015, in Philadelphia. Knott is charged with taking part in a violent attack on a gay couple.

Kathryn Knott walks from the criminal justice center Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015, in Philadelphia. Knott is charged with taking part in a violent attack on a gay couple.

Good morning Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today:

Kathryn Knott, convicted in 2014’s Center City gay bashing, doesn’t want to serve her jail sentence.

Philadelphia Gay News reports that Bill Brennan, her new lawyer, is pointing out that Knott’s co-defendants, Philip Williams and Kevin Harrigan, received probation while she was sent to jail for five to 10 months. Those two men cut a plea deal, though, while Knott went to trial. “In multi-defendant cases, courts historically have tried to show some commonality, some parity of sentences. The individuals in this matter who actually physically inflicted the harm, the striking blows, received sentences of non-incarceration,” Brennan said. “We understand that Ms. Knott exercised her right to trial but, in the final analysis, all three defendants have been adjudged guilty — two by pleas and one by a verdict — so we are going to ask the court to reconsider partially based on a disparity in the punishment imposed.” Brennan on Wednesday filed a motion to reconsider her sentence.

The 2014 deaths of Cooper Health CEO John Sheridan and his wife, Joyce, were pretty strange. Now the case has taken another left turn.

Philly Mag’s Dan McQuade reports that Tom Kean, Jim Florio and Christine Whitman are among 200 people who signed a letter urging authorities to re-open the case. “The only truth in this terrible tragedy is that no one knows what happened on that September morning — not us, not the medical examiner, not the prosecutor,” the letter reads. The Sheridans were found dead in their Somerset County home after a fire in September 2014. That March, authorities ruled the deaths a murder suicide, saying John Sheridan had stabbed his wife to death before the fire. Both were found with multiple stab wounds. But the Sheridans’ sons have long disagreed with that ruling, and two independent investigators who studied the home at the request of the Inquirer said it looked more like a double murder.

Sports betting in New Jersey? The state is try, trying again.

The state is challenging a federal law that bans states from authorizing or regulating sports betting. In appellate court on Wednesday, NewsWorks reports, the state’s lawyers argued that Gov. Chris Christie’s 2014 efforts to lift a ban on sports betting was not the same thing as authorizing or regulating it. But opposing lawyers — representing the NCAA and four major sports leagues, who want to keep sports betting contained — say that such efforts amount to “de facto” authorization, and thus violate the law. A decision in the case is not expected for several months.

You gonna cry? A Delaware school is apologizing after sending a sarcastic “Hurt Feelings Report” to parents.

NBC10 reports the form directs users to identify “who hurt your pansy ass feelings,” and to “tell us in your own sissy words how your feelings were hurt, as if anyone cared.” Oops. Officials said the form was accidentally sent in an email by a staffer at Wilmington’s Lombardy Elementary School. “This was an embarrassing mistake, but it was just that – a mistake,” a spokesperson said. “It should not have happened, and we apologize for the error.”

The Temple-Villanova showdown did not produce an upset. Sorry, Owls fans.

No. 1 Villanova beat the Owls, 83-67, on Wednesday night. The Wildcats were led by freshman Jalen Brunson and his 25 points. “A Big 5 game on the road is as tough as any conference game and we wanted to play this game near the end of the year to get us ready for the postseason,” Villanova coach Jay Wright told CBS Philly. “It really did. It was a great crowd and they weren’t going to go away.” Brunson is the son of former Temple star Rick Brunson, and he received some catcalls from Owls fans during the game. AP reports Jalen Brunson’s response: “It felt great (to quiet the crowd), but I was playing for my teammates, not the crowd.”

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