DETROIT (AP) — A jury convicted a suburban Detroit homeowner of second-degree murder and manslaughter today 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 half-mile 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 prosecutors 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.