Shortly before noon today, a Michigan jury retired to deliberate in the case of Theodore Wafer, the Michigan homeowner who shot and killed Renisha McBride on his porch when she approached his house after a car accident. The trial lasted just seven days.
It seems to have raised few questions about the raw particulars of the case. On November 3, 2013, around 1 a.m., the 19-year-old McBride crashed her car. She walked away from the accident. More than two hours later, she ended up on Wafer's porch in Dearborn Heights, Michigan. He shot her in the face with his 12-gauge shotgun, firing through a locked screen door. She was totally unarmed, and died instantly. Her blood alcohol level was high. Wafer was later charged with second-degree murder.
In their closing statement, prosecutors reportedly pointed out that Wafer told police later he was full of "piss and vinegar" when he approached that door. The prosecution theory is that this anger was not really triggered by anything McBride did (they're not even totally sure she was knocking on the door)
He wanted a confrontation. He wanted the neighborhood kids to leave him alone ... and he went to get his shotgun, in his words, to show it to them and scare them away.
Meanwhile, the prosecutor said, McBride "just wanted to go home."
The defense, meanwhile, claims that Wafer was acting in "self-defense." Per that reporter at m-live, to heighten the dramatic effect of this implausible theory — that self-defense is a legitimate excuse by the only armed party in the dispute — defense counsel adopted the first person. She says that McBride was banging on the door so loud, the floors were vibrating, and he was frightened.
If you still aren't convinced by that, join the club. It's obvious that the defense is hoping, as Syreeta McFadden put it at The Guardian the other day, that the "narrative of the inherent criminality of black kids" will play in their favor with the jury regardless. The court did get in the way of that story, somewhat. The judge excluded cellphone pictures that showed McBride with marijuana, guns, and cash. And there are four African Americans on the jury. But now, we simply wait.
[Photo of Wafer at his arraignment via AP.]