PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - Sources say DA Larry Krasner will seek to reduce charges against 20-year-old Michael White to third-degree murder in connection with the stabbing death of real estate developer 37-year-old Sean Schellenger earlier this month.
With songs and prayers, dozens came to the True Gospel Tabernacle Church Tuesday asking for safety and freedom for murder suspect Michael White.
"Michael is facing the fight of his life," Bishop Earnest McNear said.
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"I'm hoping my nephew gets bail. I'm hoping he's able to come home," White's Aunt Tonya Armstrong told reporters.
Led by Michael White's family, supporters prayed for White to get justice. Police say White plunged a knife into real estate entrepreneur Sean Schellenger's back during a fight at 17th Street near Rittenhouse Square. White's family says it was self defense.
"Great young man, loved school—like I said—he loved poetry, he loved writing, he loved music and he loved his family," Michael's uncle Quinnelle White said.
"We want to make sure, we believe in God for him to be treated with dignity and respect," Bishop McNear told supporters.
During the service, there were reports DA Larry Krasner's office plans to drop first-degree murder charges Wednesday and pursue a lesser charge that would allow the 20-year-old White to get bail.
"He's already going to drop the charges down to manslaughter," the bishop said to a loud round of applause.
Speakers pointed out that White turned himself in and has not been convicted of any crimes. They ended the evening with birthday cards for White, a moment of silence for Sean Schellenger and prayer for his mother.
"She lost a son, amen. Anytime you lose a family member—you lose somebody—it hurts," Bishop McNear said.
Police did recover the knife believed to be used in the murder after sources say information surfaced through confidential sources connected to the DA. White's preliminary hearing is Wednesday morning at the Criminal Justice Center. Both families are expected to attend.