UPDATE 12/19/13: Theodore Wafer, 54, to stand trial on charges that he killed Renisha McBride
Prosecutors presented sufficient evidence that Theodore Paul Wafer will stand trial for the murder of Renisha McBride on November 2, 2013 said Wayne County District Court Judge David Turfe. He added Wafer had other options available to him when he went to his front door that night, but chose otherwise (see original story below).
“The defendant came to the door with a shotgun,” Turfe said. “His first thought was to bring the gun, not call for help or not answer the door.” Wafer fired one shot at close range to McBride’s head. She died shortly after.
“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.
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.
UPDATE: Since our original post (see below) Theodore Paul Wafer. 54, has now been charged in the shooting death of Renisha McBride. The family lawyer described what happened to her as a “disregard for human life.” The Wayne County prosecutor called it second-degree murder.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said Friday morning in a press conference there is no evidence the suspect acted in lawful self-defense, and he will be charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. At Wafer’s arraignment, a judge set $250,000 bond, and ordered him back in court on December 18. | read more about the charges here: http://ti.me/1bOwVfj |
‘It’s very, very, very hard to believe that it was an accident when the gun is in her face and it goes off accidentally,’ said Gerald Thurswell, attorney for the family of Renisha McBride.
‘Somebody had to have their finger on the trigger. He was in a safe place – he was in his house and he didn’t have to open the door. He could’ve called 911 to protect himself. And if she was seeking help, he could’ve called 911 to get her help.’ Gerald Thurswell
Apparently her car had broken down, her cell phone battery was dead and she was looking for help.
The homeowner who shot her while she stood unarmed on his porch early Saturday morning says it was an accident. He has not been arrested or charged with any crime. McBride’s family and the local community have called for swift action in the case.
Renisha McBride’s funeral was held at the House of Prayers and Praise Cathedral on Detroit’s west side. Mourners described Renisha as an outgoing girl who loved cars and shopping. She had graduated from Southfield High School, where she was in the cheer squad, in 2012.