Labrum said White tried to take his wife to an area hospital on Sunday after friends expressed concerns about her mental condition, but that she was not admitted for unknown reasons.
"She was having a psychiatric crisis," Labrum said. "He knew that she needed help, tried to get her help and there you have it - a beautiful family [ruined]."
Labrum said Garcia-Pellon, a native of Spain, had been treated for psychiatric issues for "quite some time," although she was not sure of the diagnosis or whether Garcia-Pellon was on medication at the time of White's murder. She said Garcia-Pellon received medication at the hospital Sunday, but she didn't know what for.
A spokeswoman for the Delaware County District Attorney's Office said she could not comment on Garcia-Pellon's mental condition. Nether Providence Police Chief Thomas Flanagan said that when police interviewed the mother of two she was "very calm, very as-a-matter-of-fact."
"She was explaining everything she did and what she did and left it at that," Flanagan said.
Garcia-Pellon, who is being held without bail at Delaware County prison, is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Feb. 25. Labrum said her client is scheduled to be seen by a psychiatrist before the hearing, but she does not expect her to be ruled competent to stand trial.
White was a member of Penn's basketball team that made an unlikely run to the Final Four in 1979. After being drafted by the Portland Trailblazers, he played professionally in Europe for 12 years, during which he met his wife.
Some of White's former teammates who are close friends said they had not seen any signs of distress from Garcia-Pellon.
"The Maria I knew seemed always congenial . . . She would never seem unstable or anything outside of just a normal-natured person," said Randy Eckman, who regularly saw the couple for almost every Quakers home game. "Does it surprise me that that's her claim right now? No, because nobody in their right mind could perform such a tragic [act]."