By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Defense lawyers for the three Bucks County defendants charged with attacking a gay couple in Center City last September intend to file pre-trial motions, in an attempt to eliminate or reduce the charges.

The three defendants — Kevin Harrigan, Philip Williams and Kathryn Knott — all of whom are in their mid 20’s, appeared with their lawyers for the status hearing.

At the preliminary hearing stage in December, a Municipal Court judge ruled there was sufficient evidence to prosecute them on aggravated assault, conspiracy, and other charges.

Defense lawyer Louis Busico, who represents the 24-year-old Knott, says all of the defendants maintain their innocence:

“Perhaps some of the charges may never see a courtroom, or they all may. That’s the purpose of reviewing discovery.”

Defense lawyers are expected to argue at the next hearing, set for April 16th, that the conspiracy charges should be dropped and other charges reduced.

Prosecutors contend the three were part of a larger group that yelled slurs and confronted the two gay men “because of who they are.”