Porch Shooting Suspect Charged in Death of Woman
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Theodore P, Wafer, the suburban Detroit homeowner who shot 19-year-old Renisha McBride, has now formally been charged with 2nd degree murder and manslaughter. He shot Renisha in the face while she was on his front porch two weeks ago.
She crashed her car into a nearby vehicle and her parents said she was probably trying to find help at the homes on that street. Toxicology reports said that she had a blood alcohol level of 0.22, which is twice the legal limit, and also tested positive for marijuana, according to AP.
“I can’t imagine what that man feared from her. I would like to know why,” Renisha’s mother, Monica McBride said during a news conference at a Southfield hotel an hour after Wafer was arraigned. Under a 2006 Michigan law, a homeowner has the right to use force during a break-in, but that person must show that his or her life was in danger.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said that evidence shows McBride knocked on the locked screen door. There was no forced entry. Wafer fired through “the closed and locked screen door”.
“We do not believe he acted in lawful self-defense,” she added.
One of Wafer’s lawyers, Matt Carpenter told the judge his “client has a very strong defense.” When questioned about just what that defense would be, Carpenter said, “Because of the time, her condition.”
The discussion now is whether or not this was a hate crime, since Wafer is white and McBride was black. Renisha’s parents are hestitant to call it a crime based on race. “We didn’t want to make this a racial situation. We didn’t want to inflame anybody,” family attorney Gerald Thurswell said. “The family is not taking a position that this is black or white. You don’t take a gun and shoot somebody because there’s a noise outside.”
Civil rights groups, including the NAACP and the National Action Network, including the Rev. Al Sharpton are all over it, and have held numerous rallies and vigils since the shooting. Protesters have continually compared the case to the death of Trayvon Martin, but whether or not it will be tried as a hate crime remains to be seen.
There is a difference between the Martin Case and this one, according to ABC. Trayvon Marting was tracked down and there was a fight, which ended in Martin’s death at the hands of George Zimmerman. In this case, there doesn’t seem to have been any physical contact made at all.
The Detroit branch of the NAACP made a statement that said, “Often, many of us are very anxious and impatient when it comes to justice being equally applied in every situation. This particular case had the appearance that it might have been headed down the same road. While no trial has been held, and Mr. Wafer has yet to be brought before the court, anxiety is still high as the jury is still a long way out.”
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