(WWJ/AP) — A suburban Detroit homeowner who opened his front door and shot an unarmed 19-year-old woman on his porch was found guilty of second-degree murder on August 7.
The jury returned their verdict against 55-year-old Theodore Wafer after less than two days of deliberations.
Wafer will be sentenced for killing Renisha McBride next week. She was the unarmed woman who crashed her car near Wafer’s home and pounded on his door looking for help.
Prosecutors are asking that he be put away for 17 years, but before the judge hands the sentence down, the defense will read a letter written on Wafer’s behalf by one of his college football teammates.
Larry Beger played with Wafer at Northern Michigan University back in the late 1970’s and he told WWJ’s Russ McNamara that he finds it hard to believe what has happened.
“I could have picked out five other guys from the team that I would have said, ‘yeah, that could possibly happen,’ but not Ted,” Beger said. “He was just — he was one of these guys that everyone liked. I was telling his attorney, he was just a nice guy — on and off the field.”
Beger hasn’t spoken to Wafer since the two were in the same defensive backfield for Northern Michigan, but Beger said he still has a hard time coming to terms with the verdict.
“I was stunned. I was stunned that it was guilty on second-degree murder,” Beger said. “I figured he would get manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter, but he’s going suffer from this, he’s going to have to pay for it, and I know he’s paying for it already. If Ted got off by some technicality, that would ruin his life anyway.”
Beger added that he didn’t believe that race played a part in the incident and that Wafer feels for the McBride family.
After the verdict was read, Wafer was immediately remanded into custody.
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.