Wafer appeals conviction in porch shooting death

Oralander Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

Detroit — The Dearborn Heights man sent to prison for killing an unarmed woman on his porch last year is appealing his conviction, according to records posted Monday by the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Briefs outlining Wafer’s grounds for his appeal have not been filed, according to a state courts spokesman.

Theodore Wafer was convicted Aug. 7 by a jury in Wayne County Circuit Court for shooting 19-year-old Renisha McBride to death early Nov. 2 as she stood on the front porch of his home on West Outer Drive near Warren. He was sentenced last month to a minimum of 17 years in prison.

Wafer, 55, said he was in fear of his life and thought McBride, who was drunk at the time, was an intruder trying to break into his home when he opened his front door and shot her in the face.

The young woman’s family said they believe she was seeking help after getting into a single-car accident less than a mile from Wafer’s home.

Wafer, a former longtime airport maintenance worker, was convicted of second-degree murder, manslaughter and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Dana Hathaway sentenced Wafer to 15-30 years in prison for the murder count and 7-15 years for the manslaughter charge. He also was given a mandatory two-year consecutive sentence on a felony firearm charge.

During his trial, Wafer took the witness stand, saying he thinks about the shooting often.

“So devastating,” he testified Aug. 4 during the trial. “This poor girl. She had her whole life in front of her. I took that from her. I only wish that I could take this horrible tragedy back.”

McBride’s parents have filed a $10 million lawsuit against Wafer.

McBride’s dad, Walter Simmons, said when Wafer was sentenced he “got what he deserved.”

As part of the appeal, Wafer’s appellate attorneys are asking for transcripts from the trial.

Wafer is housed in the Michigan Department of Corrections Alger Correctional Facility in Munising in the Upper Peninsula.


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