Judge Removed From Dearborn Heights Porch Shooting Case
DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A judge has removed another judge from a case of a Dearborn Heights man who fatally shot an unarmed young woman last fall on his porch.
Wayne County Circuit Chief Judge Pro Tem Timothy Kenny removed Judge Qiana Lillard on Friday from the case of Theodore Wafer, and another judge will be selected by blind draw.
Defense attorneys for Wafer argued Lillard’s previous employment in the prosecutor’s office, some re-election campaign contributions, and social media connections — including a Facebook friendship with Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy — created an appearance of impropriety.
Lillard, earlier this month, refused to recuse herself from the case, saying that none of that constituted a conflict.
In his ruling, Judge Kenny cited the campaign involvement as the problem.
There’s no dispute that Wafer, 55, shot 19-year-old Renisha McBride in the face on Nov. 2. Court testimony shows that Wafer was about 3-feet from McBride when he pulled the trigger on his 12-gauge shotgun.
He’s charged with second degree murder.
Court filings reviewed by The Associated Press show Wafer plans an aggressive defense. Suggestions that McBride was on his porch simply to seek help are “fiction” and “utterly erroneous,” according to attorney Cheryl Carpenter.
Wafer believed McBride was trying to break in.
Prosecutors say Wafer should have called police instead of shooting.
McBride was drunk and in a car crash three hours before the knocked on Wafer’s door.
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