Story of pro-Trump boss killed in ‘over politics’ is media hype; victim’s mom gives real details

Screengrab WKMG-TV, Julia Knight

A tragic story of the death of an Orlando man says plenty about the current state of affairs in America when it comes to politics.

Since President Trump has taken office, an already divided nation has pushed further apart, and some will say the media is either a) capitalizing on it, or b) helping drive the discord.

Either way, Trump sells in the quest to draw eyeballs on the web as stories involving the president serve as enticing clickbait. Which is where the death of  William Knight, 28, comes into play.

Knight was killed Tuesday at a Florida Turnpike construction site near Orlando, and an Orange County sheriff’s arrest affidavit said the man was a “proud and outspoken American and pro-Donald Trump,” according to CBS affiliate WKMG-TV.

His alleged assailant, Mason Trever Toney, 28, reportedly stabbed Knight with a trowel shortly after they arrived at work — according to reports, Knight was Toney’s boss and the men rode to work together.

A crumpled up American flag was seen on the ground amid reports that Toney had draped it over Knight’s body.

Witnesses said the men got into an argument on their way to work, “possibly over being anti-government.”

Toney was described in the affidavit as “anti-government and very outspoken about his beliefs that the government is bad and out to get him.”

This prompted reports that the incident was over politics, with the insinuation that Trump was somehow a factor.

But the mother of the deceased man was adamant that his death was not over politics, as she added a whole different element to what took place.

Julia Knight says her son did indeed love his family, his country and his friends — which included Toney.

The grieving mother told WKMG-TV her son and Toney were childhood friends, and while she can’t explain why Toney did was he was accused of doing, she insisted that politics was not the reason.

“He [Knight] loved Mason,” Knight said. “Mason and him grew up together, they had Halloween parties together, they hung out together, our families knew each other. This wasn’t about politics.”

“There was something wrong with Mason,” she added. “He had gotten into a fight and somebody beat him up. I don’t know, I can’t explain what happened to my son. I never thought Mason would do this to my son. But it wasn’t about politics, I can tell you that right now.”

Knight’s sister explained that her brother was non-confrontational.

“It was always safe to disagree with Steven because he loved you no matter what,” Heather Knight said. “I mean, him and I disagree on many things and we can share anything and it’s a source of love to be able to talk about things. Steven is a guy you miss when he goes to work, and when he’s gone you miss him even more in a way that I can’t really describe. Our family is grieving really hard right now.”

Tom Tillison

Senior Staff Writer
[email protected]

The longest-tenured writer at BizPac Review, Tom grew up in Maryland before moving to Central Florida as a young teen. It is in the Sunshine State that he honed both his passion for politics and his writing skills.
Tom Tillison

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