Theodore Wafer, the Michigan homeowner who shot a drunk 19-year-old woman to death after she banged repeatedly on his door early in the morning hours of November 2, 2013, has been convicted on all counts:
Theodore Wafer was found guilty this afternoon of second-degree murder, manslaughter and felony firearm in the fatal shooting of Renisha McBride.
A jury, made up of 7 men and 5 women convicted the 55-year-old Dearborn Heights man.
Wafer will be sentenced Aug. 21.
After the verdict, Monica McBride, Renisha’s mother, praised the prosecution.
“Her life mattered and we showed that,” she said about her daughter.
Asked what he would say to the jury, Renisha’s father, Walter Simmons said: “Thank you, thank you.”
The defense had argued that Wafer’s actions were in self defense, saying he was scared after hearing banging on his side and front doors. The prosecution has said Wafer shot McBride through a locked screen door. They said Wafer came to the door with a loaded shotgun, released the safety, raised it at her, pulled the trigger and “blew her face off.”
Wafer’s credibility suffered throughout the trial, and the jury obviously found his changing stories implausible. Wafer long maintained that he didn’t know the shotgun was loaded, before admitting during the trial he’d loaded it a month previously. He originally claimed that he fired the shotgun reflexively, out of surprise, when McBride suddenly appeared on the porch in front of him. Wafer later admitted he fired the shotgun out of fear… and that seems to have been the admission that led to his conviction on all counts.
Ms. McBride was extremely drunk and was apparently very loud as she pounded on Mr. Wafer’s doors, but loud knocking does not justify the use of deadly force. Mr. Wafer was relatively secure inside his home. His decision to open the door and open fire upon a shape in the dark that he could not identify and who wasn’t a credible threat to his safety, was murder.