SKIPPACK — The criminal case against a teen charged as an adult for allegedly stabbing his mother’s boyfriend was dismissed by a judge Monday morning after the purported victim took the stand in a district courtroom packed with the defendant’s friends and family but refused to testify in detail about the incident.
Handcuffed and clad in a blue prison jumpsuit, Ryan Joseph Schillinger, 16, of the first block of Main Street in Schwenksville, sat next to his attorney, Abby Silverman Leeds, inside District Judge Albert Augustine’s Skippack courtroom as a Pennsylvania State Police trooper prosecuting the case called the victim to the stand to tell the court what happened in the early morning hours of June 20.
“I’m not exactly sure,” the man said as Schillinger’s mother and more than two dozen of Schillinger’s teenaged friends looked on. “There was just an altercation and things got out of hand,” he testified, saying that he had been upset because there were minors drinking in the house and he wanted them to leave.
However, after the man began to hem and haw under direct questioning, Augustine interjected, asking him, “Do you want to prosecute?”
“No,” the man replied. “I told him I didn’t want to testify,” he said, gesturing toward the prosecuting trooper.
Augustine then permitted the man to leave the stand, and the trooper then called himself as the second witness.
In his criminal complaint previously filed in district court, the trooper said that around 2 a.m. on June 20, he responded to Schillinger’s residence for a reported assault in progress, where the victim, a 30-year-old man, answered the front door with a white bandage wrapped around his stomach.
On the stand Monday, the trooper testified that he observed a wound to the man’s abdomen, and that the bandage was soaked in what appeared to be blood — he entered into evidence several photos of the injury.
In the complaint, the trooper said that at the scene the victim stated that he had just been stabbed with a knife by Schillinger, his girlfriend’s son, who had subsequently fled the residence.
The man said that he had gotten into a physical altercation with Schillinger in the kitchen and was able to stop the teen by holding him down, at which point Schillinger got up and went into his bedroom while the man continued to cook some food, according to the complaint.
A few minutes later, however, the man heard Schillinger’s mother yell “He has a knife!” and saw Schillinger return to the kitchen with a gray knife in his hand, which he swung at the man three times before stabbing him in the gut and then leaving the home through the back door, the complaint states.
The teen called the Pennsylvania State Police Skippack Barracks shortly thereafter and informed authorities that he was on the Perkiomen Trail; troopers left the residence, located Schillinger on the 300 block of Main Street, near the trail, and took him into custody, according to the complaint.
The teen told troopers he no longer had the knife on him because he threw it “somewhere behind his residence,” the complaint states, who said that Schillinger’s breath reeked of alcohol and his speech was slurred at the time he was apprehended.
The trooper testified Monday that the knife has not been recovered.
No other witnesses took the stand.
In her brief closing remarks, Silverman Leeds asked for all eight charges against Schillinger — including two counts of felony aggravated assault, misdemeanor counts of possession of an instrument of crime with intent and terroristic threats, and related offenses — to be dismissed due to lack of evidence against her client.
Augustine then dismissed the case.
Some of Schillinger’s friends patted each other on the shoulders and smiled at the decision as they filtered out of the courtroom.
Schillinger was then led out of court by state police for transport back to Montgomery County Correctional Facility, where he would eventually be outprocessed, authorities said.
Schillinger had been incarcerated at county jail in lieu of $10,000 bail since his June 20 preliminary arraignment.
“I think it was the right outcome,” Silverman Leeds said after the hearing. “He is a 16-year-old kid that was charged as an adult, and this was the right outcome.”
State police declined to comment on the dismissal.
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