A former pro wrestling star was arrested Thursday on murder charges related to a shooting of his wife at the couple’s home in Lents. 

William A. Haynes, 70, who wrestled with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) under the moniker Billy Jack Haynes throughout the 1980s, was booked into jail in connection with the homicide of Janette Becraft, 85. 

According to Portland police, Becraft was found dead at a home in the 6000 block of Southeast 100th Avenue shortly before 10 am Thursday, February 8. East precinct officers were alerted to reports of a shooting inside the home. When they arrived, Haynes was still inside. Police initially reported Haynes was uncooperative with officers. A security perimeter was established and police advised nearby residents to stay inside their homes. Officers requested backup from the Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) and a Crisis Negotiation Team, and were eventually able to arrest Haynes.

While wrestling news outlets were the first to report the suspect in last week's homicide was Haynes, the Portland Police Bureau delayed releasing his name until Saturday afternoon. KOIN News reported a neighbor sharing stories of a man with a past wrestling career, who lived at the address of the shooting. 

Haynes was billed as a wrestler from Portland during his heyday in WWE, and later went on to form the Oregon Wrestling Federation. 

Billy Jack Haynes makes his way to the ring during 
Wrestlemania 3 in 1987. screenshot

Haynes and several other plaintiffs later filed a lawsuit against the WWE for the wrestling corporation’s alleged failure to address repeated head injuries sustained during matches. Some of the other former pro wrestler plaintiffs in that suit died and were later posthumously diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). The complaints against the WWE made it to the US Supreme Court, which declined to hear the case after a lower court judge ruled the wrestling corporation could not be held responsible, and the statute of limitations had expired.  

Police said Saturday that Haynes “is in police custody at a local hospital while he is being treated for a medical condition unrelated to the homicide or his contact with law enforcement.”

He is expected to be booked into jail after his release from the hospital.

An obituary published in 2021 indicates Haynes grew up with Becraft's son, Todd, who died in 2021. After his death, Haynes and Janette Becraft married.