DETROIT (WWJ) – Theodore Wafer never denied shooting McBride when she showed up drunk on his porch before dawn, but testified that he did so in self-defense after she pounded on his door and allegedly tried to break into his Dearborn Heights home on Nov. 2.
On Thursday, a jury returned their verdict against 55-year-old Wafer after less than two days of deliberations in a case that saw national attention, finding him guilty of second-degree murder.
The unarmed 19-year-old Renisha McBride, who had an extremely high blood-alcohol level and traces of marijuana in her system, was shot in the face three hours after she walked away from a car crash in Detroit — about a half-mile away from Wafer’s home.
Outside the courtroom McBride’s aunt , Bernita Spinks, spoke to WWJ Newsradio 950, saying it was wrong for him to kill her niece.
“It was wrong from him to kill her, he didn’t have to, (because) he had a phone, he could have called 911, she hadn’t broke into the house, she didn’t have a weapon, so she didn’t deserve to die,” said Spinks.
“What I would like to say to Mr. Wafer, is I wish that he would have thought about what he did before he did it, I don’t wish no bad luck on no one, I don’t wish that he was dead,” said Spinks. “I just wish he wouldn’t have taken my niece’s life … we’re going to be praying for him, even though he’s in prison, we’re going to keep praying for him, because everybody needs prayer.”
Spinks says Wafer spewed lies about the incident the entire time.
While in Dearborn Heights, Wafer’s neighbors reacted to the verdict:
Ribwar Murad has lived across from Wafer for the last three years. He says the whole situation is unfortunate …
“I figured … he might get probation or something – less sentence than he deserved – I can’t judge, I’m not a judge but like I said, justice has to be served somehow,” said Murad.
Another neighbor who has known Wafer for 30 years told WWJ, that he was shocked by verdict and that the jury got it wrong.
Kasey Salomei has lived next door to Wafer for five years and says he believes the shooting was a mistake that Wafer now has to pay for … “Maybe there were other ways to handle it – it would have been a lot better for him and for the poor girl.”
Salomei recalls talking to Salomei after the shooting:
“He was scared talking to me actually … he was so scared, I think he was panicking – but he should have handled it a little different brain-wise. I think he made a mistake …”
Sentencing for Wafer is set for Aug. 21.