(Detroit Free Press) -- A Wayne County jury convicted Theodore Wafer today of second-degree murder, manslaughter and felony firearm in the fatal shooting of Renisha McBride on his front porch in Dearborn Heights.
Wafer, 55, will be sentenced Aug. 21. He faces up to life in prison.
The defense had argued that Wafer's actions were in self-defense, saying he was scared after hearing banging on his side and front doors. The prosecution has said Wafer shot 19-year-old McBride through a locked screen door. They said Wafer came to the door with a loaded shotgun, released the safety, raised it at her, pulled the trigger and "blew her face off."
McBride was killed at about 4:30 a.m. Nov. 2 on Wafer's porch.
The verdict by the jury, made up of 7 men and 5 women, came during the second day of deliberations. The jurors listened to 27 witnesses testify over eight days. They started deliberating Wednesday after closing argument.
The jury also was allowed to consider involuntary manslaughter instead of second degree murder charge. Instead, they convicted on both the murder charge and manslaughter.
When the verdict was read, Wafer stared straight ahead.
After the verdict, Monica McBride, Renisha's mother, praised the prosecution.
"Her life mattered and we showed that," she said about her daughter.
Asked what he would say to the jury, Renisha's father, Walter Simmons said: "Thank you, thank you."
During closing arguments on Wednesday, Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Patrick Muscat had said Wafer "wanted a confrontation."
Cheryl Carpenter, Wafer's attorney, said during her closing argument Wednesday that the pounding on Wafer's home the morning of Nov. 2 was "getting louder and louder and louder and louder until the floors started vibrating, the walls were shaking, the window was about to break, the screen door was already broken."
Carpenter declined to comment after the verdict.
Monica McBride said the prosecutors "did a wonderful job proving their burden that they had. … They had a heavy burden, but they made it through."
Simmons said he believes that the morning his daughter was killed, Wafer was mad and came to the door.
"He didn't even know her, you know," Simmons said. "She was a beautiful lady, you know. She had things going for her."
The prosecution asked for Wafer to be remanded. Carpenter said Wafer is not a flight risk or danger to the community.
"He's not a risk to society, your honor," Carpenter said.
Judge Dana Hathaway remanded Wafer.
Contact Gina Damron: 313-223-4526 or firstname.lastname@example.org