Live blog: Man who shot unarmed black woman in key hearing today

Renisha McBrideA preliminary hearing in the case of Theodore Wafer began today at 10 a.m. in 20th District Court in Dearborn Heights.

Wafer, who is white, has been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter after fatally shooting Renisha McBride, who is black, on his porch last month.

Wafer said he though McBride was an intruder and accidentally pulled the trigger.

The purpose of today’s hearing is to determine whether sufficient evidence exists for a circuit court trial.

6:15 p.m.: The hearing is adjourned until 9 a.m. Thursday.

6 p.m.: A crime scenes reconstruction expert said McBride couldn’t have been more than two feet away from the shotgun when it went off.
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5 p.m.: Continued discussion of ballistics.

3:47 p.m.: A detective is discussing ballistics.

3:09 p.m. McBride was wearing a dark hoodie, a witness to the crash said.

3:07 p.m.: A witness to the car crash said McBride looked shocked and kept to herself.

2:50 p.m.: Another witness to the car crash takes the stand. She called police but said they didn’t arrive while she was there.

2:18 p.m.: The front door of the house had a peephole. The porch also was dark, detective said.

2:12: p.m.: Renisha McBride left her cell phone in the console of her car.

1:50 p.m.: Det. Sgt. Stephen Gurka said there was no evidence of forced entry.

12:25 p.m.: A lunch break is called. Hearing resumes at 1:45 p.m.
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12:15 p.m.: The first police officer to arrive on the scene said he saw McBride on her back, her feet facing the door. She was dead and bleeding heavily.

12 p.m.: 5-minute recess called.

11:53 a.m.: “Uh, yes, I just shot somebody on my front porch with a shotgun banging on my door,” Wafer told 911 dispatchers shortly after pulling the trigger a few feet from McBride’s face.

11:37 a.m.: The 911 caller said McBride refused to stick around. “I was worried about her,” Beasely said of McBride. “I did everything but restrain her from leaving. I didn’t want her out by herself.”

11:30 a.m.: McBride returned to the scene of the crash a few minutes later, and told the 911 caller, “I just want to go home.” McBride was confused, didn’t know where she was and couldn’t think of anyone to call for help.

11:20 a.m.: Carmen Beasley, whose car was hit by McBride’s car a few hours before she was killed, called 911. “She looked like she was hurt,” the caller said of McBride, who walked down the street. The caller also said McBride was holding her head.

10:45 a.m.: Medical examiner said there’s no way to tell how McBride was acting that night because he was not there.

10:34 a.m.: McBride’s blood-alcohol level was .218, more than twice the legal limit to drive. She also smoked marijuana not long before she was killed, the medical examiner testified. It’s possible that her blood-alcohol level was as high as .28 that night.
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10:27 a.m.: The assistant medical examiner who conducted the autopsy said McBride was shot in the face, less than 3 feet from the gun. There were no exit wounds, he said.

10:12 a.m:  The assistant medical examiner who conducted McBride’s autopsy acknowledged he is not an expert on guns and has not yet become a board certified forensic pathologist.

“Our office is quite busy, so I haven’t had the time” to get licensed, he testified.

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.