PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A deadly stabbing in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square stunned the community last year. Now there is a drastic turn of events as the murder trial is set to start Monday.
The victim’s mother tells Eyewitness News she received a phone call from Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner Friday, informing her that he filed a motion to drop the murder charges against the man who’s accused of stabbing her son.
She says the decision shouldn’t be left up to Krasner, why not let the jury decide?
Last summer, two families lives were forever changed. One family lost their son and another family’s son was facing a murder charge.
But that may all be changing after Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner filed a motion Friday to drop a third-degree murder charge against Michael White, according to the victim’s mother.
“I said ‘manslaughter is already there, why wouldn’t we allow the jury to decide whether it’s third-degree murder or manslaughter.’ He said ‘it’s my decision,'” Linda Schellenger, the victim’s mother, said.
Schellenger was the mother of Sean Schellenger. He was stabbed to death after an argument allegedly broke out between him and White near Rittenhouse Square in July of 2018.
Police say Sean got out of his car to alleviate a traffic jam. White was a food courier on a bike and was passing through when the pair began to argue.
Linda says Krasner told her he would be adding additional charges involving tampering with evidence, which she agrees with, but not dropping the murder charge.
“He would be adding additional charges in lieu of that for tampering with evidence and where Michael tried to have his phone erased, I think successfully, so they could not get the information off of it that he had on it — as well as him throwing the knife on top of the building,” Linda said.
White claimed self-defense and said Sean charged at him.
In previous hearings, White’s attorneys cited a toxicology report that showed Sean may have been under the influence.
We tried to speak with White’s family, but a spokesperson told CBS3 the family cannot comment due to a gag order issued by the judge.
Though a motion to drop the murder charge was filed, the judge would have to either accept or deny that motion before jury selection begins on Monday.
“He’s run over victims’ families time over time. I’ve listened to these moms cry in support groups in the city of Philadelphia — it’s enough,” Linda said of Krasner.
Linda say she’s confident the judge will rule in her favor.
The DA’s Office is also under the same gag order as the White family.
The trial is set to begin on Monday.