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  • 7 August 2014, 23:19

Porch Killer Guilty Of Teenager's Murder

A suburban Detroit homeowner who argued self-defence in the fatal shooting of an unarmed woman on his porch has been found guilty of murder.

Theodore Wafer, 55, killed Renisha McBride, 19, with a shotgun blast to her face through a screen door after she knocked looking for help last year.

Wafer, who lived alone, said he was afraid when someone showed up on his porch before dawn.

The case, which has sparked protests in the Dearborn Heights suburb, was rife with racial undertones as Wafer is white while his victim was black.

The victim's mother, Monica McBride, praised the verdict.

"Her life mattered and we showed that," she was quoted by the Detroit Free-Press as saying.

The victim's father, Walter Simmons, told reporters: "He was a cold-blooded killer. People have a right to bear arms, but you need to do it with reason and responsibility."

It is unclear why McBride knocked on Wafer's door, but she had just been in a car accident and was intoxicated at the time, according to previous testimony and alcohol tests.

Wafer said he felt terrorised after hearing loud poundings on his doors at around 4:30am on November 2 last year.

"I wasn't going to cower in my own home," he testified, saying he feared there was more than one would-be intruder. "It was them or me," he said.

But prosecutors said Wafer should have called the police instead of appointing himself "judge, jury and executioner".

Wafer's strategy was "shoot first, ask questions later", said a prosecutor.

The airport maintenance worker could face up to life in prison following his conviction of second-degree murder and manslaughter.

However, his sentence is expected to be shorter when he learns his fate on August 21.

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