Murder charges against the man who killed Renisha McBride - KMSP-TV

Murder charges against the man who killed Renisha McBride

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Theodore Wafer (Photo Courtesy: Fox 2's Amy Lange) Theodore Wafer (Photo Courtesy: Fox 2's Amy Lange)
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DETROIT (WJBK) -

Dearborn Heights resident Theodore Wafer, 54, is charged with 2nd Degree murder, manslaughter and illegal possession of a firearm in the shooting death of 19-year-old Renisha McBride.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced the charges, nearly two weeks after police say Wafer shot McBride on the porch of his Dearborn Heights home on November 2.

An autopsy released this week ruled McBride died of a large gunshot wound to her face. A toxicology report released Thursday showed she had alcohol and marijuana in her system.

Police believe McBride was involved in a car accident several blocks north in Detroit before the shooting. They believe she was involved in a car accident nearby in Detroit and family members say she likely approached Wafer's home for help.

Gerald Thurswell, the McBride family's attorney, says, "If he had called 911 when he heard her outside his house, (the police) would have been there within two minutes and she would be alive today," Thurswell said. "Maybe she would have been arrested for being intoxicated, but she would not be dead."

Under a 2006 Michigan self-defense law, a homeowner has the right to use force during a break-in. Otherwise, a person must show his or her life was in danger.

"These are the appropriate charges and he did not act in lawful self-defense," Worthy said.

The shooting has prompted calls for a thorough investigation from civil rights groups that say race was a factor. McBride was an African-American. Wafer is white, said Worthy spokeswoman Maria Miller.

The northeast section of Dearborn Heights is next to Detroit's far west side and is a diverse area that's home to white, black and Arab-American residents. The neighborhood where the shooting took place consists mostly of well-kept bungalows and small ranches, and is near a community college branch campus and a mosque.

If Wafer is convicted on the 2nd degree murder charge, he could be sentenced to life in prison.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

 

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