Theodore Wafer, 55, of Dearborn Heights is charged with the murder of Renisha McBride, a young woman who banged on his door at about 4:30 a.m. on Nov. 2. The defense concedes that Wafer killed McBride but argues he was frightened and confused after being wakened by the noise.
Wafer, who originally told police he did not realize the gun was loaded, said on the witness stand he had loaded it about a month earlier because of incidents in the neighborhood.
"I was not going to cower," he said. "I didn't want to be a victim in my own house."
Wafer said he went to a side door to see what was going on and someone came at him suddenly.
A tearful Wafer said he finds the thought of having shot a young woman "devastating."
"This poor girl. She had her whole life in front of her," he said. "I took that from her."
Prosecutors played about an hour of Wafer's videotaped interview with police immediately after the shooting. His story changed in a number of ways between the questioning and his testimony, and his demeanor also changed.
Investigators say McBride had been involved in a drunken car crash some time before she banged on Wafer's door and that her blood alcohol was well over the legal limit. She was apparently looking for help.