Since Renisha McBride’s murder last November, I’ve been following the long process of taking her killer, Theodore Wafer, to trial. Today, July 21, jury selection for the trial has begun.
To rehash some of the facts:
- Renisha was a 19-year-old Black girl
- Renisha went to Theodore Wafer’s home looking for help after suffering injuries from a car crash
- Renisha was not armed at the time of her death
- Renisha was shot, on sight, in the face by Theodore Wafer’s shotgun
- Renisha’s blood alcohol level was nearly three times Michigan’s legal driving limit at the time of her death
- Theodore Wafer is a 55-year-old White man
- Theodore shot and killed Renisha with his shotgun when he saw her on his front porch, asking for help at 4:30 in the morning
- Theodore claims he did not intend to kill Renisha
- Theodore has been charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, and committing a felony with a firearm
- Theodore has pled not guilty to all charges
- After shooting and killing Renisha, Theodore called 911 and told the dispatcher that he shot someone who was asking for help
- Theodore’s attorneys are arguing he shot and killed Renisha in self-defense
- Theodore’s attorneys will not be using “Stand Your Ground” law as a defense
- Theodore’s attorneys plan to portray Renisha as a “troubled teen”
Last month, Theodore’s attorney Cheryl Carpenter told the Associated Press:
“Our defense is blown to pieces if you don’t allow me to argue to the jury that she could have been up to no good.” (emphasis mine)
But thankfully, the presiding trial judge, Dana Hathaway, has already denied Theodore’s defense attorneys’ request to submit social media selfies of Renisha posing with a bag of weed and a gun.
Legal experts and attorneys alike are saying it will be difficult for the defense to argue self-defense because Renisha was standing on Wafer’s porch when he shot and killed her — not in his home.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy had this to say:
“Under Michigan law, there is no duty to retreat in your own home; however, someone who claims self-defense must honestly and reasonably believe that he is in imminent danger of either losing his life of suffering great bodily harm, and that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent that harm. This ‘reasonable belief’ is not measured subjectively, by the standards of the individual in question, but objectively, by the standards of a reasonable person.” (emphasis mine)
If Wafer is convicted of second-degree murder for taking the life of Renisha McBride, he could face life in prison.
The trial is expected to last three weeks.