Michigan porch shooter found guilty of second-degree murder

Theodore Wafer sits in the back of the court room before his arraignment in Detroit, Michigan, in this January 2014 file photo. He was found guilty of second-degree murder on Thursday.
REBECCA COOK | REUTERS
Theodore Wafer sits in the back of the court room before his arraignment in Detroit, Michigan, in this January 2014 file photo. He was found guilty of second-degree murder on Thursday.
Posted Aug. 07, 2014, at 3:45 p.m.

DETROIT — A white suburban Detroit homeowner was found guilty on Thursday of second-degree murder in the shooting of an unarmed black teen on his porch.

A Detroit jury delivered its verdict against Theodore Wafer, 55, in the racially charged case on the second day of deliberations. Wafer fired a shotgun through his screen door, killing Renisha McBride, 19, after she knocked on his door seeking help after a car accident last November.

Wafer also was found guilty of manslaughter and firearms charges and faces up to life in prison.

Wafer had said the shooting was an accident and that he had been alarmed by violent knocking on his front and side doors, which led him to fear a break-in. He said he “shot in fear” through the screen door but was not aiming at anything.

The killing has sparked protests in Dearborn Heights and comparisons to the 2012 Florida shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager who was also unarmed.

 

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