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Theodore Wafer: Renisha McBride shooting 'an accident'

Theodore Wafer sits in court in Detroit, Michigan, on 23 July 2014 Image copyright AP
Image caption Theodore Wafer has been charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Renisha McBride

A man charged with killing an unarmed black woman on his suburban Detroit porch in November initially told police it was an accident, a jury has heard.

Theodore Wafer, 55, said he did not know his shotgun was loaded, according to recorded remarks played at trial.

Renisha McBride, 19, was shot in the face after coming to Mr Wafer's home in a predominantly white neighbourhood hours after crashing her car nearby.

She was later found to have been intoxicated at the time of her death.

"A consistent knocking on the door, and I'm trying to look through the windows and the door," Mr Wafer said in remarks to authorities recorded soon after the shooting.

"It's banging somewhere else so I open up the door, kind of like who is this? And the gun discharged," he added. "I didn't know there was a round in there."


A lawyer for Mr Wafer, who is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting, has argued self-defence, claiming Mr Wafer feared for his life.

Prosecutors, meanwhile, argue Mr Wafer should have stayed inside and called the police when McBride came to his home.

"His actions that night were unnecessary, unjustified and unreasonable," prosecutor Danielle Hagaman-Clark told the court on Wednesday, adding there was no evidence of an attempted break-in at the scene.

McBride was shot as she stood on the porch in the Dearborn Heights area shortly before 04:00 local time on 2 November.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Renisha McBride was in a road accident before she was shot, her family has said

A car registered to Ms McBride's family had crashed into a parked vehicle about two hours before the shooting, a few streets away.

It is unclear what happened in the intervening time.

A subsequent toxicology report on Ms McBride indicated she had a blood alcohol level of 0.218%, well above the state's drink-driving limit.

She was also found to have marijuana in her body, although it was not clear she had used the drug the day of her death.

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