DETROIT – A suburban Detroit man convicted of murder in the fatal shooting of a young, unarmed woman on his porch is "shocked" by the verdict and deeply remorseful over her death, his attorney said Friday.
"He never intended to kill anybody," Cheryl Carpenter told The Associated Press. "When a person doesn't have intent, it doesn't seem right for him to be labeled a murderer."
Wafer, 55, was convicted of second-degree murder Thursday in the death of 19-year-old Renisha McBride. He said he was afraid for his life when he decided to open the front door and fire a shotgun through a screen door, instantly killing McBride before dawn last Nov. 2.
Wafer testified that he acted in self-defense in response to relentless pounding at his doors, but the jury didn't agree. Prosecutors believe McBride may have been confused and was looking for help when she arrived at his Dearborn Heights home. She had crashed her car hours earlier, and an autopsy found she was very drunk.
"We are shocked at the conviction," said Carpenter, who didn't speak to reporters immediately after the verdict. "We might not agree with what he did or how he did it, but he was honest with what he told us about that night."
Wafer's sentencing date was moved to Aug. 20 from Aug. 25. He faces up to life in prison.
"Even if he gets 15 years, that's essentially a life sentence for him," Carpenter said, noting Wafer's age.
Prosecutors said Wafer should have called police instead of grabbing his gun. McBride's father, Walter Simmons, called him a "cold-blooded killer" after the verdict.
"I understand the anger as a parent. I would be red-hot angry," Carpenter, a mother, said. "But I don't agree with them he's a cold-blooded killer. ... He feels horrible he took their daughter away from them."
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