Judge upholds third-degree murder charges against man accused of fatal Rittenhouse stabbing

Kristen Johanson
October 30, 2018 - 5:08 pm
Michael White

Philadelphia Police Department

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Philadelphia man accused of fatally stabbing a well-known real estate agent in Rittenhouse Square in July will head to trial.  

In a packed courtroom, Judge Charles Hayden upheld third-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter charges against Michael White.  

Two eyewitnesses testified that 21-year-old White was on a bike when he came upon Sean Schellenger and another man in traffic near 17th and Chancellor streets on July 12. An argument broke out between White and Schellenger; White pulled a knife, and that's when Schellenger tackled White.  

One of the witnesses, who's also a friend of the victim, said that's when White stabbed Schellenger and ran away.

"Sean Schellenger charges and lifts him off the ground, and was about to body slam him when Michael White stabs him," said defense attorney Dan Stevenson.

RELATED: DA seeks third-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter charges in Rittenhouse stabbing

Prosecutor Anthony Voci said there is video evidence of the incident, though it was not shown court Tuesday.  

"There's a very short portion of this that is caught on cellphone video, and then there is other video that caught portions of this as well," he added.

The judge released White from house arrest and ordered him to check in with authorities twice a week.   

He will be formally arraigned next month.