Defendant In Porch Shooting Trial Told Police He Fired Accidentally
DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A Wayne County jury on Thursday heard a recording in which defendant Theodore Wafer told police he shot someone on his porch by accident.
Wafer, 55, of Dearborn Heights, is charged with second degree murder in the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Renisha McBride, who was pounding on his door early one morning last fall.
Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Danielle Hagaman-Clark played a police audio recording in which Wafer told officers the didn’t mean to fire his 12 gauge shotgun.
Jurors listened and watched as a transcript of the audio was displayed in a courtroom screen.
“Where’s the gun,” an officer asked.
“It’s on the ground inside the landing right there,” Wafer replied.
Officers asked him what happened: “A consistent knocking on the door and I’m trying to look through the windows, but every time I look through the windows and the door it’s banging somewhere else; so I open up the door, kind of like who is this, and the gun discharged,” Wafer said. “I didn’t know there was a round in there.”
Later in the recording, Wafer told police looked like the person he shot was “a neighbor girl or something.”
McBride died with $56 and her driver’s license in her pocket, according to a Dearborn Heights police officer who testified Thursday.
The jury also heard from a woman who tried to help McBride after she crashed her vehicle into a parked car around three hours before the shooting.
Carmen Beasley of Detroit testified that McBride seemed drunk, but not belligerent, and kept saying “All I wanna do is go home.”
Earlier on day two of the trial, McBride’s mother left the courtroom when prosecutors showed photos of McBride lying dead on Wafer’s porch on a projection screen.
The photos were among dozens of pieces of evidence presented Thursday — including Wafer’s shotgun and an empty shell.
Displayed by the defense was Wafer’s damaged front door, which Carpenter says was damaged when McBride tried to break in.
Carpenter also questioned whether police handled the case properly.
“It is part of the defense theory of the case that this wasn’t a good investigation,” she said. “It was incomplete and inadequate and evidence was lost.”
In opening arguments Wednesday, Hagaman-Clark said Wafer’s actions that morning were “unnecessary, unjustified and unreasonable.”
Carpenter said Wafer was in fear for his life and shot McBride in self defense.
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