Detroit porch killer Theodore Wafer jailed for 17 years
- 3 September 2014
- From the section US & Canada
A man who killed an unarmed woman who banged on his door at night has been sentenced to 17 years in prison.
Theodore Wafer was convicted of the second-degree murder of Renisha McBride, 19, who was drunk when she crashed her car near his home in suburban Detroit.
Before sentencing, he apologised to her family and said: "I will carry that guilt and sorrow forever."
The case raised the issue of the use of guns in self-defence in the US.
The nine-day trial had looked at whether the 55-year-old had a reasonable belief that his safety was under threat when he was woken in the night by a pounding on his door.
He told the court he had shot McBride because he feared his life was in danger.
But a jury rejected his claim of self-defence and he was convicted last month of murder, manslaughter and a gun-related charge.
McBride knocked on Wafer's door at about 4:30am, having crashed her car into a parked car about half a mile away three hours earlier. A post-mortem examination found that she was extremely drunk.
There was some speculation after the tragedy whether race might be a factor, with some likening it to the shooting of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, but race did not figure in the trial.