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Renisha McBride Trial: Jury Deliberates on Murder, Manslaughter Charges

Renisha McBride "just wanted to go home," the prosecution said. "Yet she ended up in the morgue."

The Detroit man who shot and killed a 19-year-old woman on his front porch last year was looking for a fight in a fit of anger, not defending himself in a wave of fear, the prosecution argued in closing arguments during his murder trial Wednesday. Theodore Wafer "wanted a confrontation" when he shot and killed Renisha McBride on Nov. 2, prosecutor Patrick Muscat said, pointing to Wafer's earlier testimony and police questioning. Wafer has said that he "took that shotgun while mad, angry" and "full of 'piss and vinegar' to find out what was going on," the night he claims he heard loud bangs on his side and front doors, Muscat said.

McBride "just wanted to go home," Muscat said. "Yet she ended up in the morgue."

The state has charged Wafer with second-degree murder, and Muscat argued the jury only had to find that Wafer killed McBride and either that he intended to kill her, intended to cause great bodily harm or knowingly created a high risk of death. Muscat also argued that the only proof that McBride was banging violently on Wafer's door that night was his own testimony. Even if he did feel threatened, Wafer "had many other options," but instead of calling police or keeping the doors closed, Wafer "blew (McBride's) face off."

Defense attorney Cheryl Carpenter said the prosecution left out the fact that the jury can find Wafer guilty of murder "unless it was justified." And Carpenter said her client "was in fear for his life." The Wayne County jury began deliberating at noon Wednesday and will resume Thursday. Wafer could face life in prison with the possibility of parole if convicted of second-degree murder.



— Elisha Fieldstadt and Scott Newell