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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 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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