DETROIT – Prosecutors on Friday announced charges against a suburban Detroit homeowner in the death of a 19-year-old woman who was shot in the face on his porch.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said that Theodore P. Wafer, 54, of Dearborn Heights faces charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of Renisha McBride on Nov. 2. She was shot in the face after police say they believe she was involved in a car accident nearby in Detroit and family members say she likely approached Wafer's home for help.
She said evidence showed McBride knocked on the locked screen door, and that there was no evidence of forced entry.
"These are the appropriate charges and he did not act in lawful self-defense," Worthy said.
Worthy said Wafer is not in custody and that prosecutors will ask him to turn himself in. An arraignment will be set after that happens, Worthy said.
The Associated Press tried to leave a message for Wafer's attorney, Cheryl Carpenter, but her voicemail was full.
Few details of the circumstances surrounding the shooting were made public before the news conference. Police say they believe McBride was involved in a car accident several blocks north in Detroit before the shooting.
A toxicology report released Thursday showed she had alcohol and marijuana in her system. The report said McBride's blood alcohol content was about 0.22, more than twice the legal limit for driving. Her blood also tested positive for the active ingredient in marijuana.
Wafer is also charged with possession of a firearm during the attempted commission of a felony or commission of a felony.
Under a 2006 Michigan self-defense law, a homeowner has the right to use force during a break-in. Otherwise, a person must show that his or her life was in danger.
The shooting has prompted calls for a thorough investigation from civil rights groups that say race was a factor. McBride was an African-American. Worthy is white, said Worthy spokeswoman Maria Miller.
The northeast section of Dearborn Heights is next to Detroit's far west side and is a diverse area that's home to white, black and Arab-American residents. The neighborhood where the shooting took place consists mostly of well-kept bungalows and small ranches, and is near a community college branch campus and a mosque.