U.S. News


Detroit Man Gets At Least 17 Years In Shooting Of Black Teen

55-year-old Theodore Wafer was sentenced to 17 to 32 years in the shooting of 19-year-old Renisha McBride.
Posted at 3:09 PM, Sep 03, 2014

A man convicted of shooting a woman to death as she reportedly searched for help after a car wreck was sentenced Wednesday — ending an emotional trial.

55-year-old Theodore Wafer will serve 17 to 32 years in the shooting of Renisha McBride. He was found guilty of second-degree murder after he shot the 19-year-old in the face on his porch in November of 2013. (Video via WZZM)

As the Los Angeles Times reports, both the defense attorney and the the judge were in tears during the hearing. And Wafer himself read an apology, "To the parents, family and friends of Renisha McBride, I apologize from the bottom of my heart and I am truly sorry for your loss. I can only hope and pray that somehow you can forgive me."

According to NBC, Wafer’s attorney asked the judge for Wafer to be sentenced within the guidelines of a manslaughter conviction. Though that request was denied, the judge reportedly told Wafer she was confident if he weren't going to prison today, [he] would never commit another crime."

Wafer said he feared for his life at the time of the pre-dawn shooting. According to reports, McBride was drunk when she approached his home looking for help following a car crash. Wafer claims he acted in self-defense, after hearing loud banging on his door. (Video via WWMT)

As NPR notes, the shooting drew comparisons to the Trayvon Martin case, because Wafer is white, and McBride was black and unarmed. However, race reportedly played little role in the trial.

McBride’s sister also read a statement in court. According to WWJ-TV, she said she's "devastated," and she urged the maximum sentence for Wafer.

Wafer faces 2 years for a felony firearm charge and 15 to 30 more for second degree murder. He will be eligible for parole in 17 years.