PHILADELPHIA, PA – A 70-year-old woman from Philadelphia allegedly used a hidden blade in her cane to fatally stab a man earlier this year. She has recently been deemed fit to stand trial by a judge. The Mercury newspaper reported on Friday that Montgomery County District Court Judge Todd N. Barnes concluded that the prosecution had presented enough evidence during the preliminary hearing to proceed with the trial. The initial trial date is set to be scheduled on November 8.
Renee DiPietro is facing charges of third-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, and possession of a crime instrument with intent, as per court records. The decision to move forward with the trial was largely influenced by the testimony of a Montgomery County detective and surveillance footage from a nearby business that captured the alleged stabbing incident. Despite efforts by DiPietro’s defense attorney to dismiss the murder charge due to insufficient evidence, the case will proceed.
The incident occurred around 1:30 a.m. on June 10, when officers from the Lower Marion Township Police Department responded to a stabbing report at the intersection of Cricket Avenue and Cricket Terrace. Upon arrival, they found a 31-year-old victim, Michael Thomas Sides, bleeding heavily from his upper torso. He was rushed to the hospital, but he ultimately succumbed to his injuries about an hour later.
According to an affidavit, Dan Rogers, a friend of Sides, told detectives that Sides had been punched earlier in the night by a mutual friend, identified as Jason DiPietro. During a subsequent altercation, Sides was trying to prevent Jason DiPietro from entering a white car when his parents, Renee and Michael DiPietro, emerged from the vehicle. Rogers witnessed Renee DiPietro allegedly lunge at Sides with what appeared to be a black cane, causing him to fall to the ground bleeding.
The affidavit further stated that Renee DiPietro was seen attempting to remove the license plate from the vehicle following the stabbing. Surveillance footage also showed her bending the license plate upward, presumably to prevent witnesses from identifying it.
Renee DiPietro has since been released from jail after posting her $50,000 bond. Sides, described by his family as a “beautiful person who never saw the bad in anyone,” is remembered as a kind soul who loved animals and lived life to the fullest.