August 19, 2014 at 6:40 pm

McBride's family files $10M wrongful death lawsuit over porch shooting

Renisha McBride's parents, Monica McBride and Walter Simmons, along with their attorney, Gerald Truswell, center, address the media after the verdict earlier this month. (Clarence Tabb Jr. / The Detroit News)

Detroit — The family of the teen who was fatally shot on the porch of a Dearborn Heights home filed a $10 million wrongful death lawsuit Tuesday against the homeowner.

The suit was filed in Wayne County Circuit Court, the same court in which a jury convicted 55-year-old Theodore Wafer on Aug. 7 on second-degree murder, manslaughter and a weapons charge in the death of Renisha McBride.

In the 12-page lawsuit filed on behalf of McBride’s parents, Monica McBride and Walter Simmons, Wafer is accused of assault and battery, negligence, gross negligence, emotional distress and wrongful death.

Filed by attorneys Gerald Thurswell and Ardiana Culaj, the suit also seeks compensation for McBride’s funeral and burial expenses.

Wafer “owed a duty of care to act as a reasonably prudent person” the morning he shot and killed the young woman he suspected was would-be intruder into his home, according to the lawsuit.

“Defendant acted in a malicious fashion with a deprived indifference to the harm inflicted upon (Renisha McBride),” the lawsuit reads. And as a result, McBride and her parents suffered physical injuries as well as “shock, mental anguish, fright and emotional damage.”

Wafer called 911 dispatchers at 4:42 a.m. Nov. 2 to report he had shot someone banging on his door. McBride’s family has said the teen was looking for help after a single-car accident more than three hours earlier in a neighborhood about a mile away from Wafer’s West Outer Drive home.

During the nine-day trial, Wafer testified he believed several people were trying to get into his home minutes before he shot McBride. He said he felt in fear for his life. He also testified he often thinks about the shooting.

“This poor girl. She had her whole life in front of her. I took that from her,” Wafer testified Aug. 4.

Wafer, who is being held at the Wayne County Jail in Hamtramck, faces sentencing Sept. 3. His attorney has said an appeal will be filed in the case.

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