Prosecution rests case against Michael White

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The prosecution has rested its case against Michael White, the man accused of fatally stabbing another near Rittenhouse Square more than a year ago. 

Friday’s testimony was all about the eyewitnesses.  

The restaurant owner who was friends with the victim, Sean Schellenger, told the jury on Friday that he didn’t think the victim seemed drunk or aggressive, despite the defense trying to point out that his blood-alcohol level was equivalent to having 10 drinks.

Related: Jurors watch cellphone video of fatal Rittenhouse stabbing; attorneys argue self-defense

Prosecutors say White stabbed Schellenger after he injected himself into a traffic argument that he wasn’t involved in.

The witness, who was driving the car, and another man, who was a passenger, corroborated what was shown in the video: White pulling a 7-inch knife from his backpack and Schellenger rushing toward White. Prosecutors say Schellenger was trying to disarm White, but defenders say Schellenger was gritting his teeth and looking for a fight. 

Two other eyewitnesses also testified that they saw White with a knife and Schellenger do some sort of wrestling move. Then, they say White stabbed Schellenger and ran away with the knife still in his hand. 

Each had different accounts of who seemed to be the lead aggressor, which is the crux of the case.

Prosecutors also showed crime scene photos — like blood on the street, a red-and-black bike, a delivery backpack, and a red loafer in the middle of Chancellor Street — then called on the homicide detective who investigated the stabbing death of Schellenger.

A crime scene officer noted the knife was found on the roof of a row home in West Philadelphia off Oxford Street, near Columbia Avenue. The defense said White took them to that home after contacting the District Attorney’s Office. 

The homicide detective told the jury White said he didn’t have a cellphone, and then gave him the wrong cellphone number when pressed. 

The defense started to put on its case Friday, consistently arguing White was acting in self-defense.

White is expected to take the stand on Tuesday.

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