Trenton woman reaches likely plea deal in stabbing death of ex-boyfriend

Edna White

Edna White

A city woman accused of stabbing her ex-boyfriend to death in February 2014, in eerily similar fashion to a previous beau she killed decades ago, has reached a preliminary deal with prosecutors that would likely result in her pleading down to a lesser charge of aggravated manslaughter, her attorney said.

Edna White, 57, is charged with murder in the Feb. 15 stabbing death of 55-year-old Dwelle Jerome Clark.

Witnesses said Clark was stabbed after he caught White rummaging through his mother’s purse and told her to “stay out” of her belongings.

White’s attorney, Patrick O’Hara, said he expects his client to plead guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated manslaughter, which would be her second conviction for such a crime.

The attorney said he could not reveal terms of his client’s impending guilty plea until her Aug. 26 appearance, when she is expected to formally accept prosecutors’ offer.

However, O’Hara did say he expected the plea deal would result in his client serving considerably less than the maximum 30 years for aggravated manslaughter.

Prosecutors have apparently been willing to negotiate a plea deal with White because they lack a premeditated motive they would need to convict her of first-degree murder, her attorney said.

O’Hara said he believes his infirmed client, who needed a wheelchair to get around her court appearance, will not die behind bars. He said “emotions were very high” for both parties at the time of the stabbing and his client regrets her actions.

“I don’t think she was thinking of the results,” O’Hara said.

This isn’t the first time White has killed a boyfriend.

O’Hara confirmed his client served time in the past for aggravated manslaughter for stabbing a previous boyfriend to death in 1980.

According to published reports, White was sentenced to 15 years in prison after she admitted using a steak knife to fatally stab the 39-year-old man in a situation mirroring Clark’s death.

If his client had taken her case to trial, O’Hara said part of his legal strategy revolved around a self-defense claim.

The ex-lovers, although they had not dated in 25 years, had rekindled a relationship and White had moved in with Clark’s family while she searched for a place to live, family members have said.

During an argument, witnesses said, Clark, the victim, took away White’s cane and walked into his bedroom. White allegedly armed herself with a butcher knife, followed Clark into the bedroom and stabbed him in the chest, penetrating his lung, witnesses said.

Cynthia White, the couple’s only child, previously told The Trentonian she believed her mother “snapped” when Clark took the cane from her.

Clark was rushed to Capital Health Regional Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries three days later.

White remains jailed in lieu of $75,000 bail.

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