UK & World News
Porch Killer Defends Action But Cries On Stand
A suburban Detroit man has wept as he told a jury how he shot to death an unarmed teenage girl on his porch thinking she was an intruder.
Theodore Wafer, 55, is accused of killing Renisha McBride, 19, with a shotgun blast to her face through a screen door after she knocked looking for help last November.
Wafer said he was afraid when someone showed up on his porch before dawn and started banging on his doors.
He said he was not going to be a victim in his own home.
"I wasn't going to cower in my house," he told the jury.
The case, which has sparked protests in the Dearborn Heights suburb, is rife with racial undertones as Wafer is white while his victim was black and unarmed.
Some have drawn parallels with the case of Trayvon Martin, the black unarmed teenager who was shot and killed in Florida in 2012.
Wafer, taking the stand, spoke in a soft voice and at one point broke into tears.
"It's so devastating," he said.
"This poor girl. She had her whole life in front of her. I took that away from her."
He said he had left his cell phone in jeans he had removed earlier and could not find it to call 911.
"I knew I had to get my gun," Wafer said. "I didn't know where this was going."
He said he pulled the trigger as a "total reflex reaction" in self-defence when he saw a figure coming fast toward the door.
"I raised the gun and shot," he said.
Prosecutors have called the defendant's actions unjustified and unreasonable, and they said he had other options besides shooting, including calling police.
Wafer said he makes $30,000 a year and bought the Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun in 2008 because he couldn't afford home security.
McBride had been in a car accident and was intoxicated when she came to Wafer's door, according to previous testimony and alcohol tests.
Wafer, an airport maintenance worker who is charged with second-degree murder, faces up to life in prison if convicted.