DETROIT (AP) — Prosecutors on Friday charged a suburban Detroit homeowner with second-degree murder in the death of a 19-year-old woman who was shot in the face on his porch.

Theodore P. Wafer, 54, of Dearborn Heights, also faces a manslaughter charge in the death of Renisha McBride in the early-morning hours of Nov. 2, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said. McBride was shot in the face after police say they believe she was involved in a car accident nearby in Detroit and family members say she likely approached Wafer’s home for help.

Civil rights groups have called for a thorough investigation, saying they believe race was a factor in the shooting — McBride was black, Wafer is white. Prosecutors insisted that race was not relevant.

“In this case, the charging decision has absolutely nothing to do with the race of the parties,” Worthy said Friday.

Evidence showed McBride knocked on the locked screen door, Worthy said, and that there was no sign of forced entry.

“These are the appropriate charges and he did not act in lawful self-defense,” Worthy said.

Wafer is not in custody and that prosecutors will ask him to turn himself in, Worthy said. An arraignment is scheduled for 2 p.m. The Associated Press tried to leave a message for Wafer’s attorney, Cheryl Carpenter, but her voicemail was full.

Few details of the circumstances surrounding the shooting were made public before the news conference. Police say they believe McBride was involved in a car accident several blocks north in Detroit before the shooting.

A toxicology report released Thursday showed she had alcohol and marijuana in her system. The report 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 ingredient in marijuana.

Wafer is also charged with possession of a firearm during the attempted commission of a felony or commission of a felony.

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 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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21 thoughts on “Homeowner Charged in Deadly Mich. Porch Shooting

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  4. Be careful about jumpin the racism bandwagon. Lets look at the crimes Mcbride committed in just the 3 hours we know about. Underage drinking, operating a motor vehicle at 3 times the legal BAC level…3 times. Leaving the scene of an accident, possession and use of a controlled narcotic, trespassing… it really a stretch to add attempted break and entering to that?
    How can you honestly say that it doesn’t matter what is in her system? Yeah, drunk and high people always do rational, thoughtful civic acts. Come on Peeps. Damm

      • When you can’t construct a thoughtful response to dispute the FACTS, go for a childish personal attack. Well played RL.
        Now get to steppin’ fool.

        J-Man in da house so…..Holla at the Scholar

    • Cool Thug on said:

      Jiggy, you say that McBride was drinking, left the scene of an accident, was drunk driving, was in possession of, and using, drugs. Right? Now let me ask you something: does that make it OK to shoot somebody in cold blood? The law makes no differentiation between a person who is in possession of all their faculties and a person who is not. If you shoot somebody without any justification you will be charged with either manslaughter or homicide.
      Michigan is a “stand your ground” state. Wafer is going to have a hard time saying that he was in fear for his safety; Wafer was inside his house. Was McBride trying to break in? Show me a broken window, Jiggy; show me a door that was being forced open, Jiggy. You, or anybody else around here, can go on and on saying that McBride might have been attempting a burglary, but again, the law does not deal with “might have been”, “maybe”, etc.
      What we have here is Wafer dispensing justice… the law has not authorized him to do so!

      • Thug, my point was simply to point out that Mcbride had committed several crimes prior to the shooting. She was operating a vehicle at almost 3 times the legal level, she obviously has no regard for her life or others. She’s damm lucky she only hit a parked car and not a person. She walked away from help at the scene and then shows up 6 blocks away and several hours later? Something doesn’t add up there. The shooting is a tradgety, but I really doubt she was knocking for assistance. When she left the accident scene, a witness said she put her hoodie up. A person creeping on your porch at 4 am with their hood up is a recipe for disaster. A string of bad decisions on her part, and one on the homeowner resulted in her death.

  5. I said it. on said:

    Was his blood tested? What normal person shoots through there front door because it was knocked on? I hope he turns his porch light off Halloween night.

  6. Just another case to patronize people of color before they dismiss the charge as justifiable homocide. I did not know that alcohol and, marijuana use will get u murdered, if you are dark enough. I have never heard of a caucasian being gunned down for no reason at all, high or not! WTF!!!!!

    • The black teen in GA that shot the white baby in the face, the three in OK that shot the auzee were those race related too? must be why else would they have been shot

    • Ren-eeeeee-Sha was operating a motor vehicle at 3 times the legal blood alcohol content level. How much more proof do you need that she had absolutely no regard for her life or anyone else’s.

    • Because she was casing his house at 3 am. She walked away from assistance at the scene, put up her hoodie, and shows up 2.5 hours later, 6 blocks away. She wasn’t looking for help, she had already turned that down. Sorry Deb that the facts don’ t match your story, but they are the facts.

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