Prison for ex-York City woman who slashed, stabbed man over crack cocaine

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
Michelle Brenneman

A former York City woman must spend nearly a year in York County Prison for slashing and stabbing a man she didn't know last summer because he told her he didn't have money to buy more crack cocaine for them to smoke.

Michelle Renee Brenneman, 46, now living in the Brogue area, pleaded no contest on Dec. 23 to second-degree felony aggravated assault, court records state.

In exchange for her plea, a charge of robbery was dismissed and Brenneman was sentenced to 11½ to 23 months in county prison. She also was ordered to complete drug and alcohol treatment as well as mental-health treatment, records state.

Brenneman was arrested and arraigned June 20.

Her defense attorney, public defender Jim Rader, could not be reached for comment on Monday, Dec. 30.

Court documents state that Brenneman stabbed a 47-year-old man about 4:20 a.m. Saturday, June 15.

Officers were called to the area of East Market and Broad streets for a reported stabbing and found the victim bleeding from wounds to his torso and left hand, documents state.

Looking for drugs: The victim told police he was walking around the city's west end, looking for someone to sell him crack cocaine, police said.

Near the corner of West Market and West streets, he found Brenneman — whom he didn't know — and she told him she could get him $40 worth of crack, documents state.

After they got the crack, they walked to the 600 block of South Pine Street and went to the bottom of an outdoor stairwell, where they smoked the drug, police said.

Afterward, Brenneman asked the man to buy more cocaine and he told her he didn't have any more money, according to police.

But Brenneman had seen the man put money back in his pants pocket after he gave her the initial $40, police said.

Michelle Renee Brenneman

"She then swung a pocket knife at him stabbing him in the left side of his torso," documents state. "Victim advised that she kept swinging the knife and trying to reach in his pockets as he tried to wrestle her off of him. He was stabbed several more times throughout the left side of his body."

Grabbed knife: At that point, the man grabbed Brenneman's knife, leaving him with a large cut on his left palm, police said.

He was able to flee the stairwell, police said. He then called his girlfriend and asked her to call an ambulance to the scene for him, which she did.

The victim told detectives that when he checked his pockets, he realized he was missing cash, documents state.

He described his attacker as being in her late 30s, with red "straggly" hair and strong facial features, police said.

Police said they suspected Brenneman was involved based on the man's description of his attacker and the location of the attack.

The man was shown a photo lineup of eight women, and he picked out Brenneman as his attacker, charging documents state.

Detectives checked the stairwell where the man said the stabbing happened and found a glass crack pipe, drops of blood and a bloody baseball cap that belongs to the stabbing victim, police said.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.