Where Renisha McBride was before she was fatally shot on a porch — and the screen door through which the fatal bullet was apparently fired — will be crucial evidence in the trial of the Detroit-area man who fired his gun.
Theodore Wafer, 54, who is white, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of McBride, 19, who is black, after she showed up on his porch in Dearborn Heights during the early morning of Nov. 2, 2013.
Wafer’s defense attorney said today during opening arguments that his client had “never been this scared in his life, ever” after hearing a series of booms and saw a shadowy figure outside his home.
“He hears metal breaking on his front door. Ted hears it. He’s thinking, ‘they’re coming in. They’re breaking into my house,’” defense attorney Cheryl Carpenter said.
Prosecutor Danielle Hagaman-Clark, however, argued that McBride had played a drinking game with her friend earlier that night, crashed her car and may have been seeking medical help for a cut on her head.
“Wafer’s actions that night were unnecessary, unjustified and unreasonable,” she told the jury.
PHOTO: Theodore Wafer waits for the start of his trial at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice
An autopsy released by the Office of the Wayne County Medical Examiner ruled that McBride died of a large gunshot wound to the face. The shot that killed McBride showed “no evidence of close range discharge,” according to the report.
In a 911 call released by police, Wafer could be heard saying: “Uh yes … I just shot somebody on my front porch. With a shot gun. Banging on my door.”
When the police asked him what city he was in, Wafer said thank you, and hung up.
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.
A jury of seven men and seven women, including two alternates, will decide the case. Four of the jurors are black.