DETROIT (WWJ) – The 55-year-old man convicted of killing a 19-year-old woman on his porch is expected to make a statement during a sentencing hearing Wednesday morning.
Theodore Wafer, who was found guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the Nov. 2 death of Renisha McBride, is expected to address the teen’s family directly during his statement.
Wafer’s attorneys are hoping the judge will take his apology into consideration and not sentence him to a lifetime behind bars.
WWJ’s Legal Analyst Charlie Langton said he’s not sure the judge can be swayed by Wafer’s words.
“His apology didn’t seem to work on the jurors when he said it on the stand,” Langton said. “But prosecutors are hoping he’ll get 17 years out of a possible life sentence.”
Wafer’s attorney Cheryl Carpenter said she believes this was an isolated incident and that he client deserves “far less” than a prison time.
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.
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.
Wafer had been sleeping in a recliner and said he couldn’t immediately find his phone to call police when he awoke to an “unbelievable” pounding on his doors and feared for his life. 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.
The shot hit McBride in the face, killing her instantly.