Mich. man who shot woman on porch will face trial

December 19, 2013

A Detroit-area man who fatally shot a drunk, unarmed woman on his porch will stand trial for second-degree murder, a judge said Thursday, rejecting a self-defense argument for the killer’s “bad choice.”

There is no dispute that Theodore Wafer shot Renisha McBride, 19, through the screen of his front door in the early hours of Nov. 2. McBride had crashed her car and apparently went to Wafer’s door looking for help. His attorneys said the 54-year-old man feared for his life, but Judge David Turfe said there were other ways to protect himself, including phoning for help.

The standard for a court to order someone to trial in Michigan is not as high as beyond a reasonable doubt, the traditional threshold to win a criminal conviction. Prosecutors must show only a portion of their evidence at this stage.

Defense attorney Cheryl Carpenter said Wafer didn’t intend to kill McBride, only to protect himself. She referred to Michigan’s 2006 self-defense law.

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