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Tuesday
Aug052014

'Porch Shooter' Theodore Wafer Says He 'Shot on Purpose'

iStock/Thinkstock(DETROIT) -- Theodore Wafer testified Tuesday that he "shot in fear" as he tried to convince a Detroit jury that he was justified in killing Renisha McBride on his porch last year.

It was Wafer's second day testifying in his own defense. He is charged with murder in McBride's death.

"I shot in fear," Wafer told the court. "I shot on purpose but there was no aiming effect."

McBride, 19, was shot in the face, falling on her back, with her feet facing Wafer's door, prosecutors said.

Wafer, 55, previously told police he didn't know his gun was loaded and said he shot McBride by accident, according to a recording played to jurors last week.

"It was a threat, a threat that was coming in my house," he said on Tuesday.

During cross examination, assistant prosecutor Athina Siringas said Wafer never told officers he was scared until they asked.

"I had a lot of emotions, fear, panicking," Wafer said. "I guess in front of a cop I didn't want to come across as less of a man."

McBride's parents and aunt appeared emotional in court as they watched Wafer's second day of testimony.

On Monday, a tearful Wafer said it was "devastating" that the teen was no longer alive.

"She had her life in front of her," he said. "I took that from her."

Wafer, who is white, will have to convince the jury that he was in fear for his life when McBride, who was black, drunkenly showed up on his porch in Dearborn Heights during the early morning of Nov. 2, 2013.

"I needed to find out what was going on," he said. "I didn't want to cower in my house, I didn't want to be a victim."

Wafer, who is unmarried and does not have children, testified that he always entered through the side door of his house and did not keep his front porch well-lit.

He told the court he was aware of crime in his neighborhood and has found liquor bottles, beer bottles and syringes on his property.

Wafer sad he purchased a shotgun around 2008 because he "thought it was time to have some kind of security that I could afford."

"I heard it was a good home defense weapon," he said of his purchase.

While Wafer showed emotion on the stand, when asked by the prosecution if he cried the night McBride died, he replied that he did not.

Under a 2006 Michigan self-defense law, a homeowner has the right to use force during a break-in. Otherwise, a person must prove his or her life was in danger.


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