Isle of Wight family faces a triple tragedy
ISLE OF WIGHT, Va. (WAVY) — Framed photos on display in Charlitta Knightnor’s home capture happy times for Charlitta, her mother Theresa Knightnor of Hampton, Charlitta’s husband 54-year-old Maurice Doctor, and their three children who are now 14, 10, and 8 years old.
“I miss him every day and I wish I could turn back the hands of time but I can’t,” said Charlitta from the front yard of her home in Carrollton, Virginia. The 47-year-old mother of three uses a cane or walker to get around her single-story home. She was diagnosed with MS nine years ago.
On January 20, around 10 p.m. inside their Carrollton home, there was a family dispute that reportedly involved the couple and the mother-in-law who was holding a knife.
“All I can remember is me falling on the bed, him falling on me and her falling on him, and that was the end. He got up, walked away, and fell to the floor.
Knightnor, now 68 years old, was initially charged with second-degree murder in her son-in-law’s death but in May, in a direct indictment, the charge was upgraded to first-degree murder.
Ten on Your Side has reached out to Commonwealth’s Attorney Georgette Phillips to learn why the charge was upgraded to first-degree murder. The grandmother has been released on a personal recognizance bond and is represented by Richmond-based attorney Mufeed Said.
“Theresa Knightnor and her family are anxiously awaiting the day when the facts of that tragic January night are presented to a jury of her peers,” said Said in a statement to Ten on Your Side.
Because of the younger Knightnor’s disabilities, her mother used to assist her grandchildren on school-day mornings by making sure they were fed and properly dressed and groomed for school. Because the mother of three and her children are witnesses to the murder, they are now essentially, estranged from the grandmother. Knightnor told Ten on Your Side prosecutors have instructed the family to avoid all contact with the grandmother.
Another tragedy looms; Charlitta Knightnor faces foreclosure. She blames a faulty pandemic mortgage relief plan established by the state of Virginia.
“They gave us a year of the covid relief and told us that it would be at the end of our mortgage and now they are saying that I have to pay that amount before July 16 or it’s going in foreclosure.”
Her husband’s estate is in probate, and the family relies on food stamps and about two-thousands dollars a month in Social Security survivor benefits. Family members and friends have offered financial support but Knightnor says more help is needed as she also faces attorney’s fees associated with the probate process.
The younger Knightnor created a GoFundme page in hopes the community will help her save the family’s home.