TPM News

Prosecutors: Man Who Killed Unarmed Black Woman Deserves 15 Years

Njztzyp66o3lurhkd1lf
AP Photo / Paul Sancya

Theodore Wafer, 55, of Dearborn Heights returns to court next Wednesday, about a month after he was convicted of second-degree murder in the shooting of Renisha McBride.

In a court filing this week, Wayne County prosecutors said Wafer's sentencing guidelines for second-degree murder call for a minimum punishment anywhere between 15 and 25 years in prison. That would be in addition to an automatic two-year prison sentence for the gun crime.

Prosecutors said they would be comfortable with a sentence within the guidelines. Wafer, like other convicts, could be released by the Michigan parole board after he serves whatever minimum sentence Judge Dana Hathaway gives him.

"There are no compelling, objective and verifiable reasons ... that would justify a downward departure from the guideline range," assistant prosecutor Athina Siringas wrote.

A message seeking comment was left with Wafer's attorney, Cheryl Carpenter.

Siringas said guidelines for Wafer's sentence are enhanced because the jury also convicted him of manslaughter.

Wafer shot Renisha McBride last Nov. 2. He insisted it was self-defense in response to the 19-year-old pounding at his doors at 4:30 a.m. The jury disagreed.

Jurors heard conflicting statements from Wafer. He suggested to police immediately after the shooting that it was an accident and that he didn't know his shotgun was loaded. But on the witness stand, Wafer said he shot because he feared for his life.

Prosecutors said he was inside a locked house and should have called 911 instead of opening the front door and shooting McBride through the screen door.

It's not known why she was on Wafer's porch, although McBride was drunk and had been in a car wreck earlier that night, about a half-mile away in Detroit.

___

Follow Ed White at http://twitter.com/edwhiteap

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.