Closing Arguments End in the Trial of Renisha McBride's Killer8/06/2014
Via CBS : Theodore Wafer should have called police instead of becoming "judge, jury and executioner," a prosecutor said Wednesday...
Via CBS: Theodore Wafer should have called police instead of becoming "judge, jury and executioner," a prosecutor said Wednesday in urging jurors to convict him of second-degree murder for the death of Renisha McBride.
In their closing arguments, prosecutors repeatedly emphasized that Theodore Wafer had other, easier options than to directly confront 19-year-old Renisha McBride when she showed up drunk on his porch before dawn on Nov. 2, 2013. Several hours earlier, she had crashed into a parked car on a Detroit street about a half-mile from Wafer's house in Dearborn Heights.
Wafer, 55, said he shot McBride in self-defense. He said he awoke to an "unbelievable" pounding on his doors and feared for his life when he fired through a screen door as someone rushed from the side of the porch.
He shot McBride in the face, killing her.
"She was a young girl looking for help," prosecutor Patrick Muscat told jurors. "What he did had to be immediately necessary and it wasn't. It was reckless. It was negligent. I don't know how to describe it. It was horrific."
"He armed himself. He was getting attacked," defense attorney Cheryl Carpenter said in her closing argument. "Put yourselves in his shoes at 4:30 in the morning."
But another prosecutor, Athina Siringas, said a murder conviction fits the case.
Wafer "decided to be judge, jury and executioner," she said in a rebuttal argument.
Earlier this week, Wafer testified that he was terrified by the pounding on his house. He had been sleeping in a recliner and said he couldn't immediately find his phone to call police.
In the aftermath of the shooting, some wondered whether race was a factor because Wafer is white and McBride was black. Race hasn't been an issue at trial, although the prosecutor noted that McBride was "African-American" while cross-examining Wafer on Tuesday.
In her closing remarks,defense attorney Carpenter said race isn't a factor for the jury. She said Wafer was just a homeowner who was aware of crime in a neighborhood that borders Detroit and wanted to protect himself.
"In the heat of the moment our instincts are to survive," she said. "He did not know it was a 19-year-old who got in a car crash at 1 a.m. What he knew was someone was trying to get in. It's not for a good reason - it's to hurt me."