Detroit porch shooting suspect in court

Theodore P. Wafer, 54, of Dearborn Heights, Mich., at his arraignment on second-degree murder charges, Nov. 15, 2013.

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

The man who shot and killed an unarmed Detroit teen on his front porch was in court today for a preliminary hearing.

Theodore Wafer, 54, is facing charges of second degree murder, manslaughter, and a felony firearms charge in the Nov. 2 death of 19-year-old Renisha McBride. He is being held on a $250,000 bond.

According to CBS Detroit, testimony given Wednesday revealed that Wafer was about three feet away from McBride when he shot her in the face with a shotgun. Wayne County District Attorney Kym Worthy has previously said evidence suggested Wafer shot McBride through a locked screen door.


Renisha McBride, 19
Police photo via CBS Detroit
At the time of her death, toxicology results indicate that McBride had a blood alcohol level of .218, more than twice the legal limit for driving, and marijuana in her system. Prior to the shooting, McBride reportedly crashed her car early on the morning of Nov. 2, and her family says she likely went to Wafer’s door seeking help after her cell phone died.

At Wednesday's hearing, Carmen Beasley testified that she heard a car crash into her own, which was parked on the street, reports CBS Detroit. Beasley said that when she came outside she saw the teen walking away and "holding her head." Beasley testified that she tried to get McBride to stay while she called for an ambulance, but that she kept saying she just wanted to go home.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Wafer's attorney, Cheryl Carpenter, told the paper that her client woke up to "to the sounds of violent banging on the doors of his house. He heard what sounded like a person or persons banging and trying to get in his front door and a side door.” 

The DA has previously said that there were no signs of forced entry on the front door.

The Free Press also reports that according to Wafer’s attorneys, he takes care of his elderly mother and has worked at the Detroit airport for 10 years.

At today's hearing, the judge may decide whether Wafer will be bound over for trial.

  • Julia Dahl

    Julia Dahl writes about crime and justice for