The shooting death of the unarmed Florida teen Trayvon Martin influenced the outcome of the trial of a white man who was convicted in August of killing a black woman on his suburban Detroit porch, the man’s lawyer told the Detroit News.
Cheryl Carpenter, a lawyer for Theodore Wafer, who was convicted in August of second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the death of Renisha McBride, 19, also denied that racial profiling was a factor in the shooting. McBride was shot after she appeared on Wafer’s porch in the early hours of Nov. 2, 2013, after crashing her car.
“The pressure was different than any other case I’d ever had,” Carpenter told the newspaper. “We had the ghost of Trayvon Martin in the courtroom.”
McBride’s death is often equated with that of Trayvon, the unarmed black 17-year-old who was shot to death in Florida in 2012 by George Zimmerman.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys worked to keep the issue of race out of the courtroom, but it was a constant presence, Carpenter told the Detroit newspaper. She said Zimmerman’s run-ins with the law after his acquittal also did not help Wafer’s case.
“It didn't help that after [George] Zimmerman was acquitted,” she told the Detroit News, “he acted like an assaultive creep and they thought, probably, we can’t [let] Ted go free and maybe murder another woman.”
Wafer has since begun the process of appealing his conviction with the assistance of a public defender.
Read more at the Detroit News.