Porch-Shooting Victim Had Alcohol, Pot in System

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  • DETROIT (AP) — A 19-year-old woman shot to death by a homeowner on a suburban Detroit porch had alcohol and marijuana in her system, according to a toxicology report released Thursday.

    The report was released a day before Prosecutor Kym Worthy planned to announce whether she will seek charges against the 54-year-old Dearborn Heights homeowner who shot Renisha McBride in the face in early morning of Nov. 2.

    The report provides some information about the circumstances of a shooting in which few details have been made public. But Gerald Thurswell, the McBride family’s attorney, said the toxicology report has no bearing on the case as far as he’s concerned.

    The report, performed by an outside lab for the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office, said McBride’s blood-alcohol content was about 0.22 — more than twice the legal limit for driving. Her blood also tested positive for the active ingredients in marijuana.

    Police say they believe McBride was involved in a car accident several blocks north in Detroit before the shooting, and Thurswell says she likely went to the home seeking help.

    Thurswell said the homeowner called 911 after he shot McBride and police were there within two minutes.

    “If he had called 911 when he heard her outside his house, they would have been there within two minutes and she would be alive today,” Thurswell said. “Maybe she would have been arrested for being intoxicated, but she would not be dead.”

    Thurswell said he plans to hold a news conference Friday afternoon after Worthy’s announcement.

    An autopsy released this week ruled she died of a gunshot wound to her face.

    Under a 2006 Michigan self-defense law, a homeowner has the right to use force during a break-in. Otherwise, a person must show that his or her life was in danger.

    The shooting has prompted calls for a thorough investigation from civil rights groups that say race was a factor. McBride was an African-American. The man’s race has not been revealed by authorities involved in the case.

    The northeast section of Dearborn Heights is next to Detroit’s far west side and is a diverse area that’s home to white, black and Arab-American residents. The neighborhood where the shooting took place consists mostly of well-kept bungalows and small ranches, and is near a community college branch campus and a mosque.

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