Case against Michael White, accused of fatally stabbing real estate developer, now in jury's hands

Kristen Johanson
October 16, 2019 - 2:49 pm
Michael White

Philadelphia Police Department

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — After just a few days of trial, the case of Michael White is now in the hands of the jury. White is charged with voluntary manslaughter in the fatal stabbing of a real estate developer in Rittenhouse Square, and the case comes down to whether White intended to kill the victim.

Through closing, White’s defense attorney Keir Bradford-Grey said the 22-year-old was trying to calm the traffic situation and only pulled out the knife to scare Sean Schellenger, who he says was seething at the mouth.

She says White was never the aggressor, but was defending himself and didn’t mean to put the knife in Schellenger’s back. White, she said, would have otherwise hit the concrete and would have been hurt.

Bradford-Grey ended by saying there was plenty of reasonable doubt in this case.

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But Assistant District Attorney Sherrell Dandy said White brought a 6-inch knife to a traffic dispute and plunged it into Schellenger‘s back, breaking a rib, cutting through vital organs with a clean blow. Dandy then showed an autopsy picture.

Dandy also went through each legal prong of voluntary manslaughter: the victim is dead, White killed the victim and White intended to kill the victim when he was up in the air and pushed the knife through Schellenger.

She also said the defense was creating distractions for the jurors, including victim-blaming, bringing up a fight Schellenger was in 11 years ago in Florida, and painting him as the aggressor, saying he was the unarmed man.

She ended by saying Schellenger never had a voice and that White was the one who intentionally took his life.