Renisha McBride’s Killer to Stand Trial

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.
Theodore Wafer    

The 45-year-old man who shot and killed Renisha McBride, an unarmed teen who was seeking help after a car accident, will stand trial on second-degree murder and manslaughter charges, a Michigan judge decided on Thursday, MSNBC reports.

Judge David Turfe said Thursday that based on the evidence, Theodore Wafer made a poor decision in shooting McBride.


"We can't allow [someone] to use a bad decision as a shield to criminal prosecution … The defendant made a bad choice," the judge said.

The judge also stated that Wafer failed to pursue other "reasonable opportunities to defend himself," including calling the police, MSNBC reports. 

Wafer admitted to shooting McBride. His attorneys argued that he was afraid for his life that Nov. 2 morning when he shot the 19-year-old through a locked screen door, killing her on the porch of his Dearborn, Mich., home. 


"He chose to shoot rather than not answer the door," the judge said.

On the morning of the shooting, McBride, who had both alcohol and marijuana in her system, according to the toxicology report, crashed her car into a parked vehicle. According to one witness, McBride seemed confused and "in shock." Another witness, Carmen Beasley, who heard the accident outside of her house, testified that McBride seemed "discombobulated," MSNBC reports.


"She just kept saying she wanted to go home," Beasley said.

According to MSNBC, Wafer's attorneys argued that the shooting was justified under Michigan’s 2006 Self-Defense Act, claiming that smudges on the screen door proved signs of McBride's aggression. Wafer's attorneys also suggested that if McBride sustained a head injury during her car accident, that would account for her aggressive behavior.


Both witnesses said McBride held her head in her hands after the crash but added that she didn't seem testy or belligerent when they spoke with her, MSNBC reports. 

Assistant Wayne County Medical Examiner Kilak Kesha said during his testimony that it was possible that McBride could have sustained a brain injury but he couldn't ascertain if this was the case because of the injuries she suffered from Wafer shooting her in the face.


"The injuries are so severe I couldn’t even reconstruct the brain," Kesha said, MSNBC reports.

Read more at MSNBC.

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