Man who shot woman on porch will face murder trial

National

Man who shot woman on porch will face murder trial

Posted:

By ED WHITE
Associated Press

DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. (AP) - A Detroit-area man who fatally shot a drunk, unarmed woman on his porch will stand trial for second-degree murder, a judge said Thursday, rejecting a self-defense argument for the killer's "bad choice."

There is no dispute that Theodore Wafer shot Renisha McBride, 19, through the screen of his front door in the early hours of Nov. 2. His attorneys said he feared for his life, but Dearborn Heights Judge David Turfe said Wafer had other options.

"We can't allow (someone) to use a bad decision as a shield to criminal prosecution. ... The defendant made a bad choice," the judge said.

Wafer's attorney, Cheryl Carpenter, pointed to Michigan's 2006 self-defense law.

"If someone is breaking into a home there is a presumption that a homeowner can use deadly force," she argued.

"You don't know how many people are out there. ... There's violent banging on the front door. We have a man alone in his home," Carpenter said.

But Wayne County assistant prosecutor Danielle Hagaman-Clark said it's "ridiculous" to believe that Wafer was deeply afraid but still decided to open the door and fire instead of first calling the police.

"He shoved that shotgun in her face and pulled the trigger," Hagaman-Clark said.

Wafer, 54, called 911 around 4:30 a.m. and said he had shot someone who was banging on his door. More than three hours earlier, McBride had crashed her car into a parked car in a residential neighborhood, about a half-mile away in Detroit.

A witness said McBride was bleeding and holding her head, but that she walked away from the scene before an ambulance arrived. It's still unclear, at least publicly, what she did between the time of the car wreck and her arrival on Wafer's porch.

An autopsy found McBride had a blood-alcohol level of about 0.22, more than twice the legal limit for driving. She also had been smoking marijuana.

Her best friend, Amber Jenkins, 18, said they had been drinking vodka and playing cards seven to eight hours before the shooting was reported to 911.

Spectators, mostly McBride's family and friends, left the courtroom immediately after the judge's decision. Wafer lingered and appeared dazed as he stood and looked out a courtroom window. He thanked his attorneys and eventually left through a back door.

Carpenter told reporters the ruling was a disappointment.

Before hearing final arguments, the judge rejected Carpenter's request to play Wafer's one-hour recorded statement to police. It was not introduced by prosecutors when they presented evidence Wednesday.

Hagaman-Clark, citing Michigan court rules, successfully argued that the defense could play the video only if Wafer would agree to testify and open himself up to cross-examination.

"The videotaped statement is not subject to cross-examination," the prosecutor said.

___

Follow Ed White at http://twitter.com/edwhiteap

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Email Alert Sign Up

    Sign up here to receive breaking news stories from KSWT.com and morning updates to your email inbox.

    * denotes required fields


    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Go to KSWT-TV's Facebook page
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 6 injured as car jumps curb near Stanford

    6 injured as car jumps curb near Stanford

    Police in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Palo Alto say six people were injured, one critically, when a car jumped a curb outside a cafe.More >>
    Police say a man in his 90s drove on to a busy sidewalk near Stanford University, hitting five pedestrians and leaving one of them with major injuries.More >>
  • Got Solar? Utility looking to place solar panels on a home near you

    Got Solar? Utility looking to place solar panels on a home near you

    Arizona's top utility company is looking to place solar panels on 3,000 homes; at no cost to the homeownerArizona Public Service announced that they plan on placing these panels on residents homes and in turn for the usage of their roofs the utility company will give them a $30 discount on their monthly bill for the next 20 years. If approved by regulators APS will spend anywhere from 50 to 70 million in project costs. This new initiative will help the utility giant meets it's mandatory alter...More >>
    Arizona's top utility company is looking to place solar panels on 3,000 homes; at no cost to the homeownerArizona Public Service announced that they plan on placing these panels on residents homes and in turn for the usage of their roofs the utility company will give them a $30 discount on their monthly bill for the next 20 years. If approved by regulators APS will spend anywhere from 50 to 70 million in project costs. This new initiative will help the utility giant meets it's mandatory alter...More >>
  • National

    Obama warns of delay in social sec. checks and veteran's benefits

    Obama warns of delay in social sec. checks and veteran's benefits

    Web Producer: Lucy Valencia, Assignment Desk Editor WASHINGTON (AP) -- Declaring "we are not a deadbeat nation," President Obama warned on Monday that Social Security checks and veterans' benefits willMore >>
    Declaring "we are not a deadbeat nation," President Obama warned on Monday that Social Security checks and veterans' benefits will be delayed if congressional Republicans fail to increase the government's borrowing authority in a looming showdown over the nation's debt and spending.More >>
  • Father time reared his head

    Father time reared his head

    As UCLA tallied the damage from rampant flooding triggered by the rupture of a 90-year-old city water line, Los Angeles city leaders on Wednesday were once again confronted with the consequences of deferred maintenance on the city's aging infrastructure. Officials have long known that hundreds of miles of city water lines have deteriorated and need replacement, with many past the century mark. But in recent years, L.A.'s elected leaders have been unwilling to hike water rates enough to fix th...More >>
    As UCLA tallied the damage from rampant flooding triggered by the rupture of a 90-year-old city water line, Los Angeles city leaders on Wednesday were once again confronted with the consequences of deferred maintenance on the city's aging infrastructure. Officials have long known that hundreds of miles of city water lines have deteriorated and need replacement, with many past the century mark. But in recent years, L.A.'s elected leaders have been unwilling to hike water rates enough to fix th...More >>
  • Yuma woman charged with hindering prosecution of murder suspect

    Yuma woman charged with hindering prosecution of murder suspect

    YUMA, AZ- Another woman is charged with hindering prosecution of a murder suspect in the death of a Yuma man. Regina Garcia went before Judge Gregory Stewart in Yuma Justice Court Thursday afternoon.More >>
    Another woman is charged with hindering prosecution of a murder suspect in the death of a Yuma man.More >>
  • 13 arrested in Phoenix area stolen property probe

    13 arrested in Phoenix area stolen property probe

    Authorities say 13 people have been arrested after search warrants were served in Gilbert and Chandler after a seven-month drug and stolen property investigation.More >>
    Authorities say 13 people have been arrested after search warrants were served in Gilbert and Chandler after a seven-month drug and stolen property investigation.More >>
  • Union: California prison staff told to fake checks

    Union: California prison staff told to fake checks

    A union says California prison employees were pressured into falsifying suicide watch records at the state's Stockton medical facility, endangering inmates and violating court-mandated standards.More >>
    A union says California prison employees were pressured into falsifying suicide watch records at the state's Stockton medical facility, endangering inmates and violating court-mandated standards.More >>
  • Yuma

    Judge ups grandmother's charges in shooting death of 3-year-old

    Judge ups grandmother's charges in shooting death of 3-year-old

    YUMA, AZ - Monday a Yuma judge has upped the charges against the grandmother - first charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of her 3-year-old grandson Darien Nez. 35-year old Rachel Spry nowMore >>
    Monday a Yuma judge has upped the charges against the grandmother - first charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of her 3-year-old grandson Darien Nez.More >>