Defense Denies Dismissing Jurors Based On Race In Porch Shooting Trial
DETROIT (WWJ) – On day two of jury selection in the Theodore Wafer murder trial, there were concerns that the defense is trying to stack the jury with white people.
Wafer, of Dearborn Heights, is accused of fatally shooting an unarmed 19-year-old Renisha McBride on his front porch last fall.
More than 35 potential jurors have been dismissed over two days, including nine Tuesday. With jurors out of the courtroom, prosecutors objected to how defense attorney Cheryl Carpenter was eliminating jurors.
Most of the jurors Carpenter wanted excused were black.
Carpenter explained she was using her “strikes” for racial-neutral reasons — pointing out that one potential juror had three brothers shot and killed, on publicly gave opinions about the case, while another was asleep in the jury box.
The judge issued a warning and said she’ll keep a very close eye on any further dismissals.
Wafer, 55, is charged with second-degree murder in McBride’s death in November.
He is white; the victim was black.
McBride, who had an extremely high blood-alcohol level, was shot three hours after she walked away from a car crash — about a half-mile away in Detroit. It’s not known where she went on foot before arriving at Wafer’s porch.
Wafer says he shot her in self-defense.