Michael White, cleared last year of murder charges for fatally stabbing real estate developer Sean Schellenger near Rittenhouse Square in 2018, was sentenced Wednesday to an additional year of probation after he admitted stealing a bicycle from the University of Pennsylvania several months before the killing.
White, 22, pleaded guilty to theft and related crimes for using bolt cutters to break the lock that had been securing the bike on Penn’s campus at 1:27 a.m. on Nov. 3, 2017. White was out with several other people at the time, according to details of the case that were read in court during his plea hearing.
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White and his friends were caught several blocks away after their theft, in part, because the bike — which belonged to Penn’s police force — had a GPS monitor. Responding officers found White with the bolt cutters in his backpack.
White was arrested and initially placed into a diversionary program, according to court records, but a judge revoked his placement on July 30, 2018, several weeks after he stabbed Schellenger during a random encounter at 17th and Chancellor Streets.
White was tried in the fall on voluntary-manslaughter and related counts in the death of Schellenger. White testified and told jurors he had acted in self-defense; the panel found him not guilty of voluntary manslaughter and two other charges, but convicted him of tampering with evidence for throwing his knife onto a rooftop.
For that crime, White received a sentence of two years’ probation.
On Wednesday, White received an additional two years’ probation over the theft charges, but Common Pleas Court Judge Kai Scott said half of it would run at the same time as his existing term of supervision.
White said little during the hearing, except to tell the judge he hopes to return to college in the fall.