Sunday, August 10, 2014

Michigan man convicted of killing young girl on his porch

This week, after less than two days of deliberation, a Detroit jury convicted Theodore P. Wafer of murder, reported the New York Times. No one disputed that in the early morning hours of Nov. 2, Renisha McBride, 19, stood on the front porch of a bungalow owned by Wafer in suburban Dearborn Heights, Mich.
She pounded at the door with her hands, moving to the side of the house and back to the front. Minutes later, Wafer who had been roused from his sleep, opened the inside front door, fired a single shotgun blast and killed her.
The case stirred racial tensions in Detroit — McBride was black, and Wafer is white — and has drawn comparisons to the case of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager who was fatally shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman, in 2012.
But where Zimmerman successfully invoked self-defense,Wafer failed.
Wafer was found guilty of second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and a felony weapons charge. He could face life in prison.
Michigan law allows lethal force only if a person “honestly and reasonably believes” that it is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm. Michigan also has a “castle doctrine,” which states that there is no legal requirement for a person to retreat inside his or her home.
Ron Scott, a community activist who has publicly supported the family, stood outside the courtroom on Thursday and hailed the verdict as a victory for Detroit and its surrounding communities.
“The jury was made up of different races and from many bordering areas,” he said. “This shows we can get beyond separation.”
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