On Thursday, Michael White was found not guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the July 12th stabbing death of Sean Schellenger in Rittenhouse Square
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We spoke to his lawyer, Keir Bradford-Gray. Here are some excerpts from the interview, full video below.
Do you think if this incident was not filmed that it would have gone a different way?
100% The way it was narrated it would have been our word against theirs. Everyone thought they say this man (Michael White) plunge the knife into his back (Sean Schellenger) because it happened so quickly. If it wasn’t on video tape we would not have been able to see step by step what actually happened.
Keir explained the difference between 1st and 3rd degree murder. Those were the original charges the prosecution wanted. 1st degree murder is planned. They would have to prove that he went out to specifically murder someone, malicious intent. 3rd degree is still an element of malicious intent.
Keir said that when they slowed the video down they also saw that Michael had been body slammed in a wrestling move. His legs were swinging in the air like a rag doll. It was no way he could have done it maliciously they way they said with no leg strength, no arm strength.
Keir explained what really helped Michael White’s case
What really helped the case was Michael White’s character. He had an impeccable record. He no criminal record, he’s never been into a fight and he had character witnesses, people from the community that knew him and they were impeccable as well. Marc Lamont Hill was one of his character witnesses and really talked about everything he knows about this young man. According to the law when someone has character; all 3 traits, peacefulness, law abiding and truthfulness, that is very rare and they take that very seriously and they say that in and of itself is grounds for reasonable doubt.