Michigan Supreme Court re-examines case of man who shot unarmed teenager on his porch
DETROIT, MI – The Michigan Supreme Court is reviewing the case of a suburban Detroit man who was sentenced to at least 17 years in prison for killing an unarmed woman on his porch in 2013.
The Associated Press reports that the question in court is whether Ted Wafer’s constitutional rights against double jeopardy were violated when he was convicted of second degree murder and manslaughter in Renisha’s death. McBride, 19.
Wafer’s attorney argues that murder and manslaughter contradict each other because murder requires malice while manslaughter does not under Michigan law.
If the Supreme Court agrees with Wafer, he would likely qualify for a new sentence because his murder sentencing guidelines were bolstered by the manslaughter conviction.
Wafer, now 61, was sentenced to at least 15 years in prison for murder, plus two years for using a firearm in a felony. He would be eligible for parole in 2031 after serving 17 years.
Wafer opened his front door in Dearborn Heights and shot McBride through a screen door. He said he was awakened by beatings before dawn and feared for his life, although he did not call the police. A jury rejected his request for self-defense.
No one knows why McBride ended up at Wafer’s home around 4:30 a.m. An autopsy revealed she was drunk.
The tribunal will hear arguments during its 2020-21 term, which begins in the fall.