The white Detroit homeowner who said he felt threatened when he shot and killed an unarmed black teenager on his front porch in November has been found guilty of second-degree murder, Michigan Radio reports.
Theodore Wafer of Dearborn Heights, Mich., has said he intentionally shot Renisha McBride, 19, through his front screen door after she pounded on his door after 4 a.m. Wafer’s lawyers say McBride was hitting the door hard enough to break it; prosecutors say the damage was caused when Wafer fired his shotgun, Michigan Radio’s Sarah Cwiek reports.
McBride had crashed her car about a half-mile away. She was bloodied, and autopsy results showed elevated levels of alcohol and marijuana.
Because McBride was unarmed when she was shot and killed, the case drew comparisons to the killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida, for which George Zimmerman had been acquitted in July 2013. Aside from the racial parallels, critics also were angered that, like Zimmerman, Wafer was not immediately arrested, Cwiek reports.
She also reported in July that the opinions of Wafer’s neighbors appeared to have settled into sharp contrasts.
“It does appear that many people here have already made up their minds,” Cwiek said. “Either Theodore Wafer was a frightened homeowner who made a hasty, tragic mistake in the middle of the night, or he’s a killer who didn’t think twice before he shot a confused, defenseless girl in the dark.”