Trial Begins in ‘Porch Shooting’ of Unarmed Woman

iStock/Thinkstock(DETROIT) -- A jury has been selected and opening arguments are expected Wednesday in the trial of a suburban Detroit man charged with second-degree murder after he allegedly shot an African-American teen in 2013.

Fourteen jurors (which includes two alternates) -- four African Americans and 10 whites -- will determine whether Theodore Wafer, 54, who is white, shot Renisha McBride, 19, in self-defense on his front porch in Dearborn Heights on Nov. 2, 2013.

Wafer said he heard McBride pounding on his door at around 4:30 a.m. when he fired his shotgun through the locked door. He later called 911.

An autopsy released by the Office of the Wayne County Medical Examiner ruled that McBride died of a large gunshot wound to the face. The shot that killed McBride showed “no evidence of close range discharge,” according to the report.

A toxicology report showed that McBride had alcohol and marijuana in her system. She had crashed her vehicle into a parked car before being shot, a witness testified in a hearing on Dec 18, 2013.

She was unarmed, according to prosecutors.

In a 911 call released by police, Wafer could be heard saying: “Uh yes...I just shot somebody on my front porch. With a shot gun. Banging on my door.”

When the police asked him what city he was in, Wafer said thank you, and hung up.

Under a 2006 Michigan self-defense law, a homeowner has the right to use force during a break-in. Otherwise, a person must prove his or her life was in danger.

The case has caught the attention of civil rights activists because of its resemblance to the George Zimmerman trial.

Zimmerman shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012. Zimmerman said he shot Martin in self-defense after the teenager knocked him to the ground, punched him and slammed his head repeatedly against the sidewalk.


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