Renisha McBride’s Whereabouts and Gathering of Evidence Take Stage in Trial

As the trial of Theodore Wafer continues, the court hears testimony from investigators about how the gathering of evidence was handled.

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Cheryl Carpenter, Theodore Wafer's defense attorney, presents a damaged screen door in her opening statements. 

WXYZ-TV Detroit Screenshot

The murder trial of Theodore Wafer—the 55-year-old Dearborn Heights, Mich., resident who shot and killed 19-year-old Renisha McBride last year—continued Tuesday, with the courtroom hearing details of how the investigation was handled, the Detroit Free Press reports

In the session, marking the fourth day of the trial, where McBride went after she crashed her car into a parked vehicle, as well as why some evidence remained uncollected for days after the killing, took center stage, the news site notes.

According to the Free Press, one investigator admitted that the teen’s exact whereabouts when she went missing for more than three hours after the crash (before ending up on Wafer’s porch) remain a mystery, even though detectives asked around the area, knocking on more than 80 doors.

The Dearborn Heights investigator leading the case also acknowledged that some evidence was not collected until days after the incident—more specifically until the prosecution and defense requested that they do so. The authorities did take Wafer’s shotgun, gun case and a used shotgun shell at the beginning.

Detective Sgt. Stephen Gurka testified that other sweeps were conducted under two search warrants to gather more evidence (like a screen door). He also testified that he sent another officer to take photographs of the car that McBride crashed only because he was asked to do so by Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Danielle Hagaman-Clark.

During one of the two additional sweeps, Gurka made a point of collecting evidence from inside the vehicle McBride crashed, as well as fingerprints from the screen door, and swabbed other pieces of evidence, the Free Press notes.

The screen door, which was damaged, is a key component in this trial because there is a question of whether it was damaged by McBride or whether the damage occurred after Wafer shot the young woman. 

Another interesting point of Gurka’s testimony, the news site noted, was when he indicated that there was no damage to any doors of Wafer’s house. Wafer’s defense team have maintained that the killing was not intentional but was the result of their client being badly frightened, thinking that someone was trying to get him, after McBride pounded on his doors.

Read more at the Detroit Free Press.