Wednesday marked the first day that lawyers pleaded their cases in front of a Detroit jury regarding the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Renisha McBride.
Theodore Wafer, 55, has been charged with second degree murder after shooting the teen on his front porch on Nov. 2.
Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Danielle Hagaman-Clark told jurors during her opening statement that Theodore Wafer had other options that night in November.
“His actions that night were unnecessary, unjustified and unreasonable,” she said. “Because of what he did that night, a 19-year-old girl is dead on a porch in Dearborn Heights.”
She said the prosecution isn’t saying that Wafer intended to kill McBride, but it’s their position that he knowingly created the situation where “death or great bodily harm was likely to occur.” He was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and felony firearm.
The defense countered that Wafer’s actions were justified and said the case is a tragedy for everybody.
Wafer’s attorney, Cheryl Carpenter, gave Wafer’s version of events that night, explaining why he never called 911 before the shooting.
He was sleeping in his recliner at about 4:30 a.m. on Nov. 2 when he heard a “Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!” on the side door of the house where he lived alone, she said.
Then he heard “Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!” at the front door.
Wafer doesn’t have a land line and got on the floor, crawling in fear, and started searching for his cell phone but couldn’t find it, Carpenter said. He turned off the TV so nobody would know he was home and turned off the hallway light, still crawling, she said.
Wafer’s attorney argued that the banging continued and got louder and more aggressive and that Wafer thought “they’re coming to get me.” He went to get his shotgun and then approached the front door. According to his attorney, Wafer opened the door because “he didn’t know what else to do.” When he did, he saw a figure less than two feet away coming at him from the side and shot.
After shooting McBride, Wafer allegedly put down the shotgun and called 911. The defense argued Wafer shot McBride in self-defense. McBride was in a car accident just before 1 a.m. Nov. 2. She crashed a car into a parked vehicle on Bramell near Warren in Detroit.
Civil rights activists and supporters across the nation immediately called racism after the shooting – Wafer is white and McBride was black. Some compared it to the 2012 killing of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.
Check back for updates.
Sound off below!