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Wafer convicted in shooting of unarmed teenager

Dearborn Heights Police

A Wayne County jury has convicted suburban Detroit homeowner Theodore Wafer of second-degree murder for shooting Renisha McBride on his front porch last November. 

Wafer claimed he shot McBride on his Dearborn Heights front porch in self-defense. He said he feared for his life after the young woman came “pounding violently” on his front door in the middle of the night.

It’s never been clear how McBride got to Wafer’s front door. She was unarmed, but had been drinking and smoking marijuana. Hours earlier, she’d been in a car accident and may have also suffered a concussion.

Wafer repeatedly said during his testimony he was “confused” because it all “happened so fast.” He said it’s taken the nine months since the shooting to fully process what happened.

McBride's parents, Walter Simmons and Monica McBride said they were relieved, and that justice had been done.

They called Wafer "a cold-blooded killer," but said they didn't think he had targeted their daughter because of her race.

Wafer is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 25.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.