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Crime: 'Not going to say I'm sorry': 69th Street stabber gets county jail sentence

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Nov. 30—MEDIA COURTHOUSE — A Philadelphia man was sentenced to 11 1/2 to 23 months at the county jail Tuesday after pleading guilty to aggravated assault for stabbing a man who tried to break up a fight inside the 69th Street Terminal.

Michael K. Jennings, 31, of the 5600 block of 53rd Street, will also serve five years of concurrent probation under the plea deal worked out by Assistant District Attorney Beth Ramos and defense counsel Anna Solveig Hinchman.

Jennings was charged with two counts each of simple and aggravated assault, as well as possessing an instrument of crime, reckless endangerment and harassment for the Jan. 18 altercation in which the victim was stabbed and cut multiple times. The remaining charges were dismissed under the plea.

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The victim testified at a preliminary hearing in May that the incident began with an argument between Jennings and a woman he was with. He said the station in Upper Darby was just about empty when he was sitting on a bench between the hours of 10 and 11 p.m. talking to his sister on the phone. Jennings and the woman came and sat next to him while arguing and Jennings started to punch the woman as the argument went on, the victim said.

The victim said he then got involved, standing up and pushing Jennings and the woman away from each other. He said he told Jennings that it wasn't worth it and to just walk away. That was when Jennings threatened him and then connected with a blow to his left cheek, the victim said.

"I felt the blood coming out of my face and that's when I noticed he had the knife in his hand," the man said.

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The victim said a fight ensued for about five minutes, during which Jennings cut him again on the face, pinky and back of the head. The man said he also suffered stab wounds to the arm and back, and was in Lankenau Hospital for two days due to his injuries.

Court of Common Pleas Judge Margaret Amoroso accepted the plea Tuesday, which included Jennings waiving three months of time served since his April 25 arrest. Jennings balked at not being eligible for early release on "good time," but the judge noted the first-degree felony carries a maximum of 20 years in prison and the mitigated range is 18 to 36 months, a state sentence.

She noted the victim had agreed with Jennings receiving a reduced sentence and staying in the county system.

"You had a knife," Amoroso said.

"It's better than a gun, right?" Jennings responded.

"Well, yeah, because if you shot him, there's no question you'd be going to state prison," the judge said.

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"That's crazy," Jennings said. "Because, you know, big people walk around here. I'm a small guy. All my life I've been bullied. I didn't think that was the time or the place to let somebody do something to me."

Jennings, who was on probation for a simple assault in Philadelphia at the time of the stabbing, half-heartedly apologized for his actions.

"I'm not going to say I'm sorry, because I'm not, but I apologize to the victim," he said. "I didn't want him to hurt me and I didn't want to have to hurt him, but things happen and that's just life."

In addition to jail time and probation, Jennings will comply with the recommendations of psychiatric and psychological evaluations, as well as a drug and alcohol evaluation, attend anger management classes, provide a DNA sample to state police and stay away from the victim.

(c)2022 Daily Times, Primos, Pa. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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