The prosecution and the defense rested their cases Tuesday in the trial of suburban Detroit man Theodore Wafer, 55, who is charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Renisha McBride on his porch.
Closing arguments and juror deliberations are set to start Wednesday. Wayne County Circuit Judge Dana Hathaway told the jury Tuesday that in addition to second-degree murder, it can consider a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter. Because Wafer claims he acted in self-defense, she also reviewed for jurors when force is justified under law: "At the time he acted, the defendant must have honestly and reasonably believed he was in danger of being killed or seriously injured."
Wafer testified Tuesday morning that he grabbed his shotgun because he heard "unbelievable" pounding on his doors. But prosecutor Athena Siringas chastised Wafer for not calling 911 when he awoke to the noises outside his house at about 4:30 a.m. that morning, even though Wafer has said he wasn't able to immediately find his phone. He said he couldn't see who was outside his home and whether they were at the front or side door and had hoped to scare off whoever it was by firing a shot. McBride's blood-alcohol level was about 0.22, nearly three times Michigan's legal limit for driving, an autopsy found.
— Elizabeth Chuck
First published August 5 2014, 7:41 AM