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Big Jury Pool Sought For Trial In Deaborn Heights Porch Shooting

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Defense attorneys sit with Theodore Wafer (R) during a pre-trial hearing on April 4, 2014. (Credit: Mike Campbell/WWJ Newsradio 950)

Defense attorneys sit with Theodore Wafer (R) during a pre-trial hearing on April 4, 2014. (Credit: Mike Campbell/WWJ Newsradio 950)

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DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Both prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed that a larger jury pool of up to 200 people will be needed in the case of a Detroit-area man charged with killing an unarmed woman on his porch.

The death of 19-year-old Renisha McBride last November in Dearborn Heights received much publicity.

Prosecutors and lawyers for Theodore Wafer want to ensure that prospective jurors haven’t made up their mind if they’ve heard about the case.

Twelve jurors will be seated.

Wayne County Judge Dana Hathaway handled a handful of pre-trial issues Friday.

Defense attorney Cheryl Carpenter objected to the use of written transcripts in the case — including 911 calls made on the night McBride was killed – saying words on paper won’t convey Wafer’s emotions.

“This case is about what Mr. Wafer felt like at the time he shot his shotgun,” Carpenter told the judge. “Was it reasonable to be in fear of immediate danger?”

Judge Hathaway ruled against Carpenter’s objection, saying the jury would see and hear video and audio tapes and get a transcript.

Prosecutors will present evidence that McBride had been in a car accident, was allegedly injured and disoriented and was seeking help when she knocked on Wafer’s door the night she died.

Wafer’s attorneys will try to prove that he shot McBride in self-defense.

Hathaway said she’ll consider another handful of pre-trial issues next Thursday.

Wafer’s second-degree murder trial is set for July 21.

[Catch up on the details of this case HERE].

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