Homeowner who fatally shot Renisha McBride faces up to life in prison

WaferWayne County Prosector Kym Worthy announced second-degree murder charges against the 54-year-old Dearborn Heights homeowner who shot to death 19-year-old Renisha McBride when she knocked on his door at 3:40 a.
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m. on Nov. 2.

Theodore Hall Wafer faces up to life in prison if convicted on the charges, which include second-degree murder, manslaughter and possession of a firearm while in the commission of a crime.

“He did not act in self-defense,” Worthy said. “Someone who claims self-defense must have an honest and reasonable belief of imminent death or harm to themselves or others.”

Wafer told police his 12-gauge shotgun accidentally discharged when he mistook McBride for an intruder. Authorities believe McBride was knocking on Wafer’s door to ask for help after she was in a car accident a few hours earlier.

New toxicology reports show McBride was intoxicated when she died, but it’s unclear how that is relevant to her death.

Police said McBride hit a parked car in Detroit shortly before 1 a.m. and walked off. Neighbors called 911 several times but McBride was nowhere to be found when police showed up.

It’s unclear what happened to McBride between 1 a.m. and 3:40 p.m. She was shot six blocks from where she crashed.

An autopsy report showed that McBride was not shot at close range, which makes a case for self-defense much more difficult.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

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