Legal Wrangling Ahead in Mich. Porch Shooting Case

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“In this case, the charging decision has nothing whatever to do with the race of the parties,” she said. “Whether it becomes relevant later on in the case, I don’t know. I’m not clairvoyant.”

THE MISSING HOURS

McBride crashed her 2004 Ford Taurus into a parked car in Detroit, blocks away from Wafer’s home, around 1:30 a.m., according to the Dearborn Heights police report.

What isn’t known is how McBride spent the time between the crash and the shooting. Wafer called 911 at 4:42 a.m., but it’s not clear when he fired the fatal shot.

“We assume she was looking for help,” said Thurswell, who also put forward a theory from one of McBride’s two sisters, who said a drunken and disoriented McBride may have believed she was knocking on the door of her family’s home since both that residence and Wafer’s are corner lots.

Bretz said a potential defense argument is that McBride’s extreme drunkenness posed a threat.

“Was she acting crazy? If so … this gave (Wafer) a greater right to be afraid,” Bretz said.

The toxicology report also indicated McBride’s blood tested positive for the active ingredients in marijuana.

McBride’s family said it doesn’t matter, but Bretz said he could see the defense focusing attention on McBride’s behavior.

“It makes her out not to be an angel. She got drunk and stoned and drove and crashed her car. But that’s not a death-penalty offense,” he said.

WAFER AND MCBRIDE

McBride’s father, Walter Ray Simmons, referred to the defendant as “Mr. Wafer” when he talked to reporters Friday.

He then stopped: “I don’t even know why I’m saying ‘Mr. Wafer.’ This monster who killed my daughter.”

Earlier Friday, at his arraignment, Wafer stood in a Dearborn Heights courtroom and listened as Carpenter argued for a lesser bail amount.

Carpenter described Wafer as a steadily employed high school graduate who spent a year at Northern Michigan University and whose only run-ins with the law involved a couple of decades-old drunken driving cases. Wafer cares for his 81-year-old mother, Carpenter said.

Fellow defense lawyer Cheryl Carpenter said her client has been affected by the case.

“You could see it is weighing on him, and he realizes the extent of what happened that night,” she said outside of court.

“This is part of the problem with this case. There’s been so much prejudgment and so much speculation,” Cheryl Carpenter said. “Until we get all the facts out, and we don’t even have all of the facts yet.”

McBride’s parents are left to wonder what could have been.

Simmons said his daughter, a 2012 Southfield High School graduate who loved cheerleading and soccer, was going back to school and had dreams of becoming a nurse, or possibly pursuing a career in the automotive field.

“She deserves to be right here today with her family,” said McBride’s mother, Monica McBride, who wore a pin that read: “R.I.P. Nene.”

(Photo: AP)

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