Theodore Paul Wafer, the Michigan man who shot and killed Renisha McBride was found guilty on all 3 charges in a Detroit courtroom today.
Wafer, 54, appeared stunned when the verdict was read. The jury deliberated less than 24 hours before finding Wafer guilty of homicide murder in the 2nd degree, guilty of manslaughter death by weapon aimed with intent but without malice, and guilty of weapons charges.
Before deciding Wafer’s fate, jurors asked to see the shotgun, Wafer’s screen door and a tape measure.
McBride, 19, was intoxicated when she stumbled onto Wafer’s porch and knocked on his door seeking help following a car crash on Nov. 2. Wafer testified that he opened his front door and fired his shotgun through his screen door because he feared for his life. McBride was shot in the face and killed. Wafter said he believed he was under siege and he thought “people” outside his home were about to break in.
Wafer initially told police the gun just went off. He said he couldn’t find his cell phone to call 911. He later found his cell phone in his pants pocket.
After the verdict, McBride’s mother said, “It was overwhelming, but I kept the faith.” When asked what Wafer should have done, McBride’s mother said, “He should’ve called 911.”
Prosecutors said Wafer was a reckless, paranoid gun owner who didn’t take any precautions before opening his door and firing outside.
A law in Michigan says homeowners are allowed to use deadly force in defense of their homes.
McBride’s family was notified of her death on Nov. 4 — two days after her death. Police initially said her body was “dumped” in the Detroit suburb.
In announcing Wafer’s arrest last year, prosecutor Kym Worthy said, “We obviously do not feel that the evidence in this case reveals that the defendant acted in lawful self defense,” Worthy said.
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