Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Michigan homeowner who shot black woman on porch is charged

DETROIT — 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 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.

Michigan homeowner who shot black woman on porch is charged 11/15/13 [Last modified: Friday, November 15, 2013 6:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Who's behind the mysterious butt graffiti all over St. Petersburg?

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first butts, perhaps, appeared in April on some steps behind the Sundial shopping plaza.

    A photo of the butt graffiti that has been cropping up around St. Petersburg in the past several months. [CHRISTOPHER SPATA | STAFF]
  2. During the most expensive mayoral election ever, St. Petersburg City Council wants to limit PAC money

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — In front of a large group of red-shirted campaign finance reform supporters, the St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday started the ball rolling on an ordinance that would limit individual campaign contributions to $5,000 from political action committees.

    A large crowd gathered Thursday to support passage of a controversial measure to limit campaign spending in city elections
  3. Minority business accelerator launch by Tampa chamber to aid black, Hispanic businesses

    Business

    A "minority business accelerator" program was launched Thursday by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce geared toward helping black and Hispanic business owners identify and overcome barriers to grow their companies. The accelerator, known as MBA, will provide participants with business tools to cultivate opportunities …

    Bemetra Simmons is a senior private banker at Wells Fargo, The Private Bank. She is also chair of the new minority business accelerator program for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. [Photo, LinkedIn]
  4. Peter Budaj loves 'vibe' with Lightning

    Blogs

    Two years ago, nobody was willing to give Peter Budaj a shot, the veteran goalie wondering if he'd ever play in the NHL again.

    Peter Budaj signed a two-year extension with the Lightning, worth $1.025 million per year.
  5. A test the Rays haven't passed

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — I have no idea what to think about the Rays. Not a clue.

    Tampa Bay Rays players celebrate their 8-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.