Michigan man ordered to stand trial in shooting of Renisha McBride on his porch

Criminal Justice

Michigan man ordered to stand trial in shooting of Renisha McBride on his porch

Dec 20, 2013, 01:50 pm CST

A Michigan judge has found sufficient evidence for a Dearborn Heights man to stand trial in the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Renisha McBride, who apparently banged on his door after crashing her car early on Nov. 2.

Theodore Wafer, 54, is charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in the Nov. 2 incident, report the Detroit Free Press and

Judge David Turfe said Wafer had other options, according to the account by “What did he do in this case, he brought a shotgun to the door,” Turfe said. “He could have called for help, he could have run to another part of the house. … He chose to shoot rather than not answer the door.”

The medical examiner had estimated that McBride’s blood alcohol level was between .28 and .29 percent at the time she was killed. She may have suffered a brain injury in the accident that caused unpredictable behavior, the medical examiner testified.

A witness testified McBride was holding her head after the crash and she appeared to be confused, injured and intoxicated. The witness called an ambulance but McBride left the scene before help arrived—40 minutes or more after the crash.

Prosecutors say Wafer shot McBride through a locked screen door. McBride’s relatives have suggested the black teen may have been racially profiled by Wafer, who is white.

Wafer’s lawyer, Cheryl Carpenter, says McBride was “violently” slamming Wafer’s door, and he felt a reasonable threat. She argued the shooting was justified under the state’s self-defense law, which allows homeowners to use deadly force if they fear great bodily harm, death or sexual assault.

According to earlier reports, Wafer said his gun discharged accidentally. A firearms expert with the state police testified he tested the gun and it could not have gone off accidentally.

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