Detroit-area porch shooter con­victed of mur­der

The Covington News - - THE WIRE -

DETROIT (AP) — A jury con­victed a sub­ur­ban Detroit home­owner of sec­ond-de­gree mur­der and man­slaugh­ter Thurs­day in the killing of a drunk, un­armed woman on his porch last year, re­ject­ing his claim that he was afraid for his life and had acted in self-de­fense.

Theodore Wafer, 55, shot Ren­isha McBride through a screen door on Nov. 2, hours af­ter she crashed into a parked car a halfmile from his house. No one knows why she ended up at the Dear­born Heights home, although prose­cu­tors spec­u­lated that the 19-year-old woman may have been seek­ing help.

The jury con­victed Wafer of sec­ond-de­gree mur­der and man­slaugh­ter af­ter de­lib­er­at­ing for about eight hours over two days.

Wayne County Judge Dana Hath­away warned that she would lock peo­ple up for any out­bursts, and the court­room was silent af­ter the ver­dict was read.

McBride's mother, Monica McBride, cried and clasped her hands as if pray­ing when the jury's de­ci­sion was an­nounced. She gave long hugs to pros- ecu­tors as the court­room emp­tied.

Wafer, who had been free on bond, was or­dered to jail to await his sen­tence. He faces up to life in prison on Aug. 21, but it's likely his pun­ish­ment will be much shorter.

"He was a cold-blooded killer. ... Peo­ple have a right to bear arms, but you need to do it with rea­son and re­spon­si­bil­ity," McBride's fa­ther, Wal­ter Sim­mons, told re­porters.

Dur­ing clos­ing ar­gu­ments Wed­nes­day, pros­e­cu­tor Pa­trick Mus­cat told the jury that McBride "just wanted to go home" the morn­ing she was killed.

"She ended up in the morgue with bul­lets in her head and in her brain be­cause the de­fen­dant picked up this shot­gun, re­leased this safety, raised it at her, pulled the trig­ger and blew her face off," Mus­cat said, hold­ing the gun.

The Wayne County jury heard eight days of tes­ti­mony be­fore start­ing de­lib­er­a­tions Wed­nes­day.

Wafer, an air­port main­te­nance em­ployee who lives alone, said he was roused out of sleep around 4:30 a.m. by pound­ing at his front and side doors. He tes­ti­fied that the noises were "un­be­liev­able."

"I wasn't go­ing to cower in my house," Wafer said.

AP Photo/Detroit News, Clarence Tabb Jr.

Asst. Pros­e­cu­tor Athina Siringas speaks dur­ing clos­ing ar­gu­ments in the Theodore Wafer case Wed­nes­day, Aug. 6, 2014, in Detroit.

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