Theodore Wafer Guilty of Second Degree Murder in 'Porch Shooting' Trial
A Detroit jury found Theodore Wafer guilty of murder today in the
shooting death of unarmed teenager Renisha McBride on his porch.
The jury, which consisted of seven men and five women, began its
deliberations on Wednesday after nine days of testimony. The verdict
came on the second day of deliberations.
Wafer, 55, showed no emotion when the verdict was read and was remanded
to the Wayne County Jail. He will be sentenced Aug. 21 and could face a
maximum of life in prison with parole.
He was charged with second degree murder and manslaughter for shooting
and killing McBride, 19, last November when the teenager showed up
inebriated on his porch at 4:40 a.m. The jury found him guilty of second
Wafer said he could only make out a figure around his house, said the person pounded on his door and made him fear for his life.
McBride's parents, Monica McBride and Walter Simmons, said they were
pleased with the verdict, but said they never would have had to be in
this position if Wafer had called 911 the night their daughter showed up
on his porch.
"Me and Walter know who she was," McBride said of her daughter. "She was
not violent. She was a regular teenager...Her life mattered."
When asked what he learned about Wafer during the trial, Simmons replied, "We learned he was a cold blooded killer."
A spokesman for the prosecution declined to comment on the case because
sentencing was still pending, but called it “very emotional… It makes
the job worth it.”
When the jury began its deliberations, they immediately made several
requests, including to have Wafer's shotgun and his screen door brought
to the jury room.
The screen door is comprised of a steel frame with a screen insert held
in place by clips. Investigators found the screen insert out of position
when they arrived on the shooting scene, according to testimony.
The defense argued that the screen was awry because of the way because
McBride pounded on the door. Prosecutors told the court that the screen
could have slipped out of position days or weeks before the shooting and
there was no evidence it was caused by McBride.
Under a 2006 Michigan self-defense law, a homeowner has the right to use
force during a break-in. Otherwise, a person must prove his or her life
was in danger.