Porch Shooting Trial: First Full Day of Deliberations Underway

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

The fate of a man charged with second-degree murder for the shooting of a 19-year-old woman on his porch rests in the hands of a Detroit jury, who began their first full day of deliberations Thursday. Theodore Wafer, charged with murdering 19-year-old Renisha McBride on November 2, 2013, was "numb" after closing arguments Wednesday, defense lawyer Cheryl Carpenter said. "He just wants to get back to his normal life — let this nightmare be over for him," she added.

At least a dozen of McBride's family members and friends arrived at court Thursday morning as a jury of seven men and five women mulled the evidence, as well as 33 pages of instructions from Judge Dana Hathaway. Nine months after McBride's death, the family is eager for a verdict, said their lawyer, Gerald Thurswell. The defense argues Wafer shot McBride in self-defense because he was stricken with fear when the teen started violently banging on his doors in the middle of the night. The prosecution contends McBride was merely looking for help after a car crash, and Wafer shot her because he was angry and looking for a fight. If Wafer is found guilty of second-degree murder, he could be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. If the jury decides Wafer committed involuntary manslaughter, he faces a maximum of 15 years in prison, according to Maria Miller, the Wayne County assistant prosecutor.



— Elisha Fieldstadt and Scott Newell