Renisha McBride shooter to be charged with second-degree murder

Theodore Wafer, 54, will be charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of 19-year-old Renisha McBride.
Posted By Gabrielle Levy  |  Nov. 15, 2013 at 11:08 AM
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Nov. 15 (UPI) -- The homeowner who shot Renisha McBride on November 2 will face second-degree murder charges for killing the young woman, who was seeking help after a car accident.

Theodore Wafer, 54, was identified in a press conference Friday morning as the man who shot McBride, 19, early in the morning after she crashed her vehicle into a parked car a mile away from Wafer's home.

Wafer, who claimed he fired in self-defense, reportedly fired through a locked screen door. McBride was shot in the head. He will be charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and possession of a firearm.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said she believes a trial will prove Wafer was not justified in shooting McBride in self-defense.

"Under Michigan law, there is no duty to retreat in your own home," Worthy said. "However, someone who claims self-defense must honestly and reasonably believe that he is in imminent danger of either losing his life or suffering great bodily harm and the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent that harm."

Toxicology reports showed McBride had a blood alcohol level of .218 and she had marijuana in her system when she died.

Her family said she was seeking help when she approached Wafer's house. Wafer said he thought she was breaking in, and that the gun accidentally discharged. The family has also accused Wafer, who is white, of thinking the worst of McBride because she was black.

Attorney Gerald Thurswell, representing McBride's family, said her intoxication "probably makes her less of a physical threat to anybody."

"The bottom line in this whole case is that he was in his house, the door is locked, he has a phone," Thurswell said. "All he had to do was call 911. Maybe she would have been arrested because she was drunk -- but she'd be alive."

Wafer's attorney last week defended his actions.

"I'm confident when the evidence comes it will show that my client was justified and acted as a reasonable person would who was in fear for his life," said attorney Cheryl Carpenter.

[Detroit News]

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