Trial in fatal Lower Kensington parking dispute continues today

The 2000 block of Hagert Street, where a parking dispute turned deadly in December 1999. Credit: Google Maps
The 2000 block of Hagert Street, where a parking dispute turned deadly in December 1999. Credit: Google Maps

Philadelphia’s parking woes didn’t just start — they’ve been around for years.

The trial is scheduled to continue today for Alexis Orona, 46, charged with murder in the death of James “Jimmy” Schumacher, 39, who was fatally stabbed at 1:45 a.m. on Dec. 4, 1999, during an argument on East Hagert Street in Lower Kensington.

Sally McKay testified Monday that she saw Schumacher, a relative by marriage, leave his blue Camaro in the middle of the narrow road, then enter her house to get his newborn baby girl and bring her in a carrier to the car.

“I heard a beep,” McKay testified. “[Schumacher] says, ‘One minute.’ I remember hearing, ‘Move the f—ing car!’”

McKay said she saw Orona exit his car, which was directly blocked by Schumacher’s vehicle, and the two men began exchanging punches.

Then, she said, Orona pulled a knife from his car and stabbed Schumacher three times, once in the chest, piercing his heart. He died three days later.

Defense attorney David Walker doesn’t deny that Orona killed Schumacher, but he claims it was in self-defense.

“Orona had no intention of harming James Schumacher,” Walker said.

Orona was charged with the slaying in June 2012, according to court records.

Prosecutor Tom Lipscomb said older DNA technology wasn’t able to read any DNA left behind on a blue fisherman’s hat recovered from the scene.

But with newer tests, Orona’s DNA was identified on the hat.


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