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Erie woman, 67, will argue self-defense in killing

Posted on May 12th, 2020 at 8:55 AM

This article was originally published on www.goerie.com by Madeleine O’Neill on May 11, 2020.

A 67-year-old woman accused of first-degree murder in a fatal stabbing in April will claim at trial that she acted in self-defense and in defense of her daughter, her lawyer said Monday.

The woman, Delores C. White, is headed to trial on all charges, including first-degree murder and aggravated assault, after her preliminary hearing Monday morning in Erie County Central Court at the county courthouse.

Erie 1st Ward District Judge Sue Mack bound over all charges against White at the conclusion of the 45-minute hearing.

White appeared at the hearing via video conference from the Erie County Prison, where she is being held without bond. Defendants accused of first-degree murder typically are not eligible for bond.

White’s lawyer, Eric Hackwelder, said he plans to ask a judge to set bond for White soon. He said the stabbing victim, 35-year-old Khalil Reynolds, was abusive and struck White’s daughter during an altercation at the daughter’s East Lake Road residence on April 14.

“He’s been abusive in the past,” Hackwelder said after the preliminary hearing. “He was asked to leave.”

Hackwelder asked Mack to throw out the charge of first-degree murder, or a homicide that is committed with the intent to kill. White told police she meant to stab Reynolds, but did not intend to kill him, according to testimony on Monday.

Assistant Erie County District Attorney Gregory Reichart argued there was clear evidence that White intended to kill Reynolds. Cell phone video taken by White’s daughter showed that at one point during the altercation, White had put down the knife, only to pick it up again later.

Erie police Detective Sgt. Sean Bogart testified Monday that White offered a full confession to police.

White told police the domestic disturbance “started out verbally between her daughter and Khalil,” Bogart said. “She does state that Khalil was physical with her daughter.”

Bogart said he observed two abrasions on the daughter’s face when he interviewed her.

The daughter also provided cell phone videos that showed portions of the confrontation, Bogart said. One of the videos showed White holding a knife and lunging toward Reynolds, who asked White if she was going to hurt him.

White said yes, Bogart testified, and Reynolds replied, “Do what you gotta do. I’m not hurting you.”

Under questioning from Hackwelder, Bogart said Reynolds had been asked to leave the residence and that White and her daughter reported Reynolds had been intoxicated.

Police responded to the East Lake Road residence after receiving four 911 calls, Bogart said. Three were from White’s daughter and one was from White, he said.

Investigators wrote in charging documents that one 911 call was from a female who stated, “He jumped on my daughter so I stabbed him and he’s bleeding to death,” police wrote. A second call was from another female who said she had to defend herself and stated, “He was putting his hands on me, so my mother ...” before the call disconnected.

White also told Erie police patrolmen where the knife that had been used in the stabbing was located and said that Reynolds was always coming to the residence and causing disturbances, according to Monday’s testimony.

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Attorney Sebald represented me in 2005 for a DUI. So when I was facing legal problems again in 2015 for getting 3 DUI's in a 5 month period due to an addiction to alcohol I knew I needed him to represent me again. Mr. Sebald truly cares about his clients. I met with him we discussed my case and what I was facing. He guided me on what I should do. He doesn't sugar coat things. Mr. Sebald is honest with you from the beginning and will do everything he can to get the best possible outcome. I was facing some pretty serious consequences and through his advice, guidance and representation I not only was able to avoid Jail time but also get help for my problem with alcohol. I truly believe if it weren't for him I would not be where I am today. After hiring Attorney Sebald he traveled to Lycoming county to represent me for my preliminary hearing and sentencing. He called and spoke with the D.A., judges as well as other attorneys in that area. He also represented me here in Erie county for my preliminary hearing as well as sentencing. He does his research. I would strongly recommend Mr Sebald to anyone who needs legal representation.

 
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I would highly recommend Attorney Hackwelder. My case was different than most but he went out of his way to do his research to make sure things went my way. He won the case for me and if I ever need another attorney I will call him again.

 
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Eric was great. Very professional and very knowledgeable of the law. Attorney Hackwelder and his partner were able to resolve my particular case quickly and to my benefit. Good job!

 
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Because I listened to his expert advice, I will serve NO prison time, NO jail time, and my fine was minimal. Thanks again Stephen for a tough uphill battle, and you never gave up.

 
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Mr. Sebald is honest with you from the beginning and will do everything he can to get the best possible outcome.

 
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I was charged with theft by extortion, a 3rd degree felony which carries a possible sentence of 7 years in prison and 15,000 in fines. Against my better judgement, I took the advice of Stephen and pled guilty for a reduced sentence. Because I listened to his expert advice, I will serve NO prison time, NO jail time, and my fine was minimal. Thanks again Stephen for a tough uphill battle, and you never gave up.

 
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I am more than pleased with my experience with attorney Hackwelder. He is knowledgeable and got us a great result. I would highly recommend hiring Attorney Hackwelder.

 
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I hired Eric for someone who was facing serious felony charges. He is a fairly young man with a young child who he absolutely adores. He had made mistakes and I didn't feel he needed to go to jail and be separated from that child. Eric was extremely helpful and actually, you could tell that he took this case personally because of all of the time and effort he put into the case. He was always available to us and his family. When it came time for the sentencing we all thought he was going to jail. When the judge sentenced him to 3 years parole we were all extremely happy. I can not say enough good things to say about Eric.

 
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