HLN Prediction Is Correct –Renisha McBride’s Killer is Convicted of Murder
During my appearance on HLN’S On the Case recently, I predicted that Theodore Wafer, 55, would not be convicted of first degree murder; but Murder in the second degree. My prediction was correct. In fact, fellow HLN legal expert, Joey Jackson agreed.
Early on Nov 2, 2013, Ms. McBride, 19, arrived at Mr. Wafer’s front porch after a night that began with drinking and smoking marijuana. While driving just before 1 a.m., she hit a parked car within the Detroit city limits, left the scene of the crash bleeding from her injuries. About a mile later, and a few hours later, she comes across Mr. Wafer’s home where she pounded on the front and side doors of his house desperately seeking help.
Minutes later, Mr. Wafer, who was sleep in his recliner in his living room was startled awake from the banging. He testified that he was terrified, and within minutes scrambled for his 12-gauge shotgun stashed in a closet, which he had loaded less than two weeks earlier after vandals paint-balled his vehicle. He believed that someone was trying to break into his home in Dearborn Heights, just across the city line from Detroit.
Without warning, he opened the inside front door, fired a shotgun blast through a locked screen door and killed 19 year old Renisha McBride.
Judge Hathaway sentenced Mr. Wafer — who was convicted on Aug. 7 of second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and a felony weapons charge — to a minimum of 17 years in prison, including a mandatory two-year sentence on the weapons count.
The case initially stirred racial tension, because Mr. Wafer is white and Ms. McBride was black. But neither side raised the issue at trial.
While I am happy that justice was served here, it is sad that such a young woman lost her life due to pure recklessness. Mr. Wafer could have called 911 and hid with shotgun in hand, if he was so afraid. Oh yeah, he said he could not find his cell phone and had no land line. He could have announced that he would blow the brains out of the person trying to break in, thereby warning her that he had a gun. He did none of that. Instead, this coward opened his front door and shot this young girl’s face off with a 12 gauge shot gun. He shot through a locked screen door.
Mr. Wafer’s actions constitute recklessness. He acted lawlessly, failing to call the police and then shooting an unarmed woman without warning. Second degree Murder was the plausible charge as it was clear he did not plan and deliberate to kill Ms. McBride. His recklessness constitutes second degree murder. See you, perhaps, when you are 72 years old Mr. Wafer.
Justice was served here. Kudos to the prosecutors.