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August 08, 2023

70-year-old woman charged in fatal Ardmore stabbing used 16-inch blade hidden in her cane

Police allege Renee DiPietro killed Michael Sides while he and her son were fighting on June 10

Investigations Homicides
Ardmore Stabbing DiPietro Source/Montgomery County D.A.'s Office

Renee DiPietro, 70, of Philadelphia, is charged with third-degree murder in the stabbing of a man in Ardmore on June 10. Police say she used the 16-inch knife, shown above, that was concealed inside her cane.

A 70-year-old woman who intervened in a fight involving her son in Ardmore two months ago and fatally stabbed the other man to death with a 16-inch knife concealed inside her cane, has been charged with third-degree murder, Montgomery County prosecutors said.

Charges against Renee DiPietro, of Philadelphia, were announced Tuesday. She is accused of killing Michael Sides, 31, who was stabbed in the chest early on June 10. He would die at the hospital about an hour later. 

Lower Merion police found Sides at the intersection of Cricket Avenue and Cricket Terrace around 1:30 a.m. that night and learned the altercation had started earlier when Sides' friend was "sucker punched" inside a nearby bar by DiPietro's son, Jason. Sides had confronted Jason DiPietro outside as Jason tried to get in his parents' white sedan, and the two began to fight, police said.

Footage from nearby surveillance cameras showed Renee DiPietro get out of the car during the fight, and strike Sides multiple times with a black cane, authorities said. One of Side's friends, who witnessed the scuffle, told police there also was a blade hidden inside the cane, which DiPietro allegedly used to stabbed Sides, who was unarmed, police said.

After the stabbing, Renee DiPietro allegedly tried to remove the license plate from the car, but only managed to bend it upwards, partially obscuring the number. The family then drove off, leaving Sides bleeding on the ground, police said. Sides was taken to Lankenau Medical Center, where he died around 2:30 a.m.

Renee DiPietro./Montgomery Co. D.A.

Renee DiPietro, 70

Later that morning, detectives visited the DiPietro family at their home in Philadelphia where Rene DiPietro turned the knife over to police and agreed to be interviewed.

She told authorities her son had called to get a ride home from the bar because he felt in danger after the incident in the bar. DiPietro said she brought a baseball bat and the cane with her when she and her husband left to get Jason DiPietro, prosecutors said.

During the fight between Sides and her son the sheath had fallen off the blade and she "poked" Sides with it, DiPietro told prosecutors. 

In addition to third-degree murder, DiPietro is charged with involuntary manslaughter and possessing an instrument of crime. She was arraigned Tuesday and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 22.