No One Bought Wafer's Self-Defense Claim in Renisha McBride Killing, Juror Says
August 25th, 2014, 6:20 AM
Nearly three weeks after Dearborn Heights resident Theodore Wafer was convicted of murdering Renisha McBride, a Wayne County Circuit Court juror has offered some insight into the Aug. 7 verdict.
The juror, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, tells Elisha Anderson and Gina Damron of the Detroit Free Press that "no one believed" Wafer's claim that he killed McBride, 19, in self-defense.
One the key reasons, the Freep writes, was that Wafer testified in court that he was protecting himself when he shot McBride, who came knocking on his door in the middle of the night.
However, the juror pointed out, he told police it was an accident.
“That hurt him big time,” the juror tells the Freep.
Wafer was convicted of second-degree murder, manslaughter and using a firearm in a felony. He could get up to life in prison at his sentencing Sept. 3. His attorney is appealing the conviction.
The Freep talked to Wafer's attorney Cheryl Carpenter about the juror's comments.
“I’m surprised the jurors didn’t think he was honest,” says Carpenter.
During the trial, Wafer testified that he heard banging, was scared, opened the door and fired his shotgun out of fear of harm.
But the Freep writes that when police arrive, Wafer said he didn’t know the gun was loaded.
“I didn’t know there was a round in there,” he told police.
The juror told the Freep that the jury didn't think Wafer was a "bad buy," but "what he did was wrong."
The Freep writes that the juror said some jurors had their minds made up when deliberations started; others needed time, and some cried during the process, the juror said. They decided early on that he was guilty, but hadn't initially determined if he was guilty of second-degree murder or involuntary manslaughter.
The juror also notes that Wafer could have turned on the porch light or looked out the window instead of opening the door and firing.