Trial delayed for Carrollton grandmother charged with murder

Published 5:46 pm Friday, May 12, 2023

The trial of a Carrollton woman accused of fatally stabbing her grandchildren’s father has been delayed to October at the request of her attorney.

The three-day, first-degree murder trial was set to begin May 10 but rescheduled for Oct. 2 by Circuit Court Judge C. Peter Trench.

According to court records, this is the third time the trial has been postponed. It was originally scheduled for Sept. 7-9, 2022, then rescheduled for Jan. 3-5, each time at the request of prosecutors. This is the first time the rescheduling has been at the request of the defense.

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Isle of Wight County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a residence in the 12000 block of Smiths Neck Road the evening of Jan. 20, 2022, to investigate a reported stabbing. There, they found 54-year-old Maurice Doctor with a stab wound to his back. They pronounced him dead at the scene.

Sheriff’s Office Capt. Tommy Potter told The Smithfield Times in 2022 that the accused, 69-year-old Theresa Knightnor, was the grandmother of Doctor’s children on their mother’s side, and had resided with Doctor at the residence.

The Sheriff’s Office, in a 2022 news release, alleged that an altercation between Knightnor and Doctor preceded the stabbing.

Investigators initially charged Knightnor with second-degree murder but later upped the charge to first-degree, alleging in court documents that Knightnor had killed Doctor “willfully, deliberately and with premeditation.”

Doctor’s remains were taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Norfolk for an autopsy. According to a Virginia Department of Forensic Science report on file at the Isle of Wight County Courthouse, Doctor’s blood contained a cocktail of alcohols, cocaine and opiates.

Knightnor’s Richmond-based attorney, Mufeed Said, stated in a pretrial court filing in September that he intends to “introduce evidence of the defendant’s mental condition at the time of the alleged offense.” In an earlier filing on July 14, Said deemed it “likely” that he and Knightnor would “raise the issue of self defense or defense of others.” Said’s July filing makes reference to a video purported to show Doctor walking toward one children’s bedrooms and threatening to kill the child.

Knightnor will remain on bond until Oct. 2, per Trench’s order.