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Mich. porch shooter guilty of second-degree murder

Theodore Wafer, left, during his preliminary examination before District Court Judge David Turfe in Dearborn Heights, Mich., Dec. 18, 2013. AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Last Updated Aug 7, 2014 3:07 PM EDT

DETROIT - A suburban Detroit homeowner who fatally shot an unarmed woman on his porch was found guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter Thursday afternoon.

The jury began deliberating shortly before noon Wednesday.

Theodore Wafer, 55, said he shot 19-year-old Renisha McBride in self-defense when she showed up drunk on his porch before dawn on Nov. 2. Several hours earlier, McBride had crashed her car into a parked car on a Detroit street about a half-mile from Wafer's house in Dearborn Heights.

Wafer could face up to life in prison, but it is likely his actual sentence will be much shorter. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 21. Wafer was immediately remanded into custody following the guilty verdict.

RENISHA.jpg
Renisha McBride
CBS Detroit
During his trial, Wafer testified that he awoke to an "unbelievable" pounding on his doors and feared for his life when he fired through his screen door.

He shot McBride in the face, killing her.

A prosecutor said Wednesday during closing arguments that Wafer should have called 911 instead of becoming "judge, jury and executioner."

In the aftermath of the shooting, some wondered whether race was a factor because Wafer is white and McBride was black. Race wasn't an issue at trial, although the prosecutor noted that McBride was "African-American" while cross-examining Wafer on Tuesday.

In her closing remarks, defense attorney Cheryl Carpenter said race wasn't a factor for the jury. She said Wafer was just a homeowner who was aware of crime in a neighborhood that borders Detroit and wanted to protect himself.

  • Crimesider Staff

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