DETROIT (WWJ) – The family of Renisha McBride — the Detroit woman shot and killed by a Dearborn Heights homeowner— has filed a civil lawsuit seeking damages in her death.
The $10 million wrongful death suit was filed Tuesday in Wayne County Circuit Court,
Theodore Wafer, 55, was convicted earlier this month of second degree murder after he shot the 19-year-old woman when she pounded on his door, early one morning last November.
“The criminal justice system found him guilty of second degree murder, and he will be sentenced; and in the criminal law he will serve his time and be accountable for those acts,” said McBride family attorney Gerald Thurswell.
“In addition to that, he took a life and we are seeking civil damages for the value of Renisha’s life,” he said.
Wafer, who took the stand in his own defense, told jurors the feared for his life when he thought McBride was trying to break into his home.
A medical examiner testified McBride had an extremely high blood-alcohol level and traces of marijuana in her system when she 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.
Wafer said he’d been sleeping and couldn’t find his phone to 911 when he awoke to an “unbelievable” pounding on his doors. He testified that he opened his front door and noticed the screen door had been tampered with, then opened the front door further before a figure emerged quickly from the side of the house. He said he raised his shotgun and fired.
Wafer was remanded into custody following his conviction on Aug. 7. Sentencing in the criminal case is set for Aug. 21.
There was no immediate comment from Wafer’s attorney about the civil suit.