Michael White sentenced to 2 years probation for tampering with evidence in fatal stabbing of Sean Schellenger

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Michael White was sentenced to two years probation Thursday for tampering with evidence in the murder case of real estate developer Sean Schellenger.

Last fall White, 22, was acquitted of voluntary manslaughter but was found guilty of tampering with evidence in the fatal Rittenhouse Square stabbing.

Back in July 2018, White - a bicycle food courier - came upon a traffic dispute.

At trial, White testified that Schellenger tried to tackle him and that he sunk a knife into Schellenger's back in self-defense. White said he later threw the knife onto a roof.

The jury viewed cell phone video and agreed that White had acted in self-defense.

In court Thursday, White apologized for tampering with evidence and said he was acting in the heat of the moment. He said he was 100 percent honest with authorities and told them where to find the weapon.

Several conditions were imposed by the court as part of White's probation, including random drug screens, mandated counseling, maintenance of continued employment and/or education and payment of mandatory court costs.

"I am just happy this part of my life is over and now I can focus on the future and working hard to be the person I always envisioned myself to be," said White after the sentence was handed down.

Schellenger's family did not attend the hearing but White said his heart goes out to the family.

"I am still praying for them," he said. "And still kept the same innocence since July 12th, so that's all I have to say."

The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office also weighed in on the outcome of the case.

"The goal was to have him under supervision for two years which is exactly what the judge did, just in a different mechanism," said Anthony Voci, homicide chief for the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office.

Sean Schellenger's parents have blasted District Attorney Larry Krasner, who had dropped murder charges and pursued the voluntary manslaughter charge instead.

The Schellengers plan to take the case to civil court. The family issued the following statement regarding the sentencing:

"Our life sentence began on July 12, 2018, when Sean was fatally stabbed with a deadly weapon. The sentencing is, hopefully, the last episode in Krasner's finely orchestrated obstruction of justice. We have endured enough pain at the hand of the killer, the DA and Bradford-Grey.
Sean Schellenger was intelligent, articulate, successful and kind and no one can ever take those qualities away from him or us."


White's supporters emphasized that the verdict was not a celebration.

His family said they feel deep sorrow for the pain the Schellengers are going through.

Both families have reported receiving threats in this emotional case.
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