Saturday, September 6, 2014

Theodore Wafer Slammed with 15 to 30 Years

Renisha McBride

Local news reports

Theodore Wafer said he was sorry from the bottom of his heart Wednesday for gunning down an unarmed young woman on the front porch of his Michigan home, but a judge said "mistake" was the wrong word to describe a murder and sentenced him to 15 to 30 years in prison.

Wafer, 55, looked down, his lawyer patting him on the back, as Wayne County Circuit Judge Dana Hathaway sentenced him for second-degree murder in the November shooting death of Renisha McBride, 19 -- a racially charged case because the victim was black and Wafer is white. 

Wafer had testified that he feared for his life when loud banging startled him awake in the early morning hours of November 2, 2013. He opened his front door and fired a fatal shotgun blast into the face of McBride, who prosecutors say was seeking help after a car accident.

"To the parents family and friends of Renisha McBride, I apologize from the bottom of my heart and I am truly sorry for your loss," Wafer said. "I can only hope and pray that some how you can forgive me. ... From my fear, I caused the lost of a life that was too young to leave this world and for that I carry that guilt and sorrow forever."

Hathaway said it was one of the "saddest cases" she had ever presided over. 

"I do not believe that you are a cold-blood murderer or that this case had anything to do with race or that you are some sort of monster," the judge said. "I do believe you acted out of some fear but mainly anger and panic and unjustified fear is never an excuse to take someone's life."

Hathaway said she was confident Wafer was remorseful and would likely never commit another crime in his life, but that McBride came to his doorstep seeking help and lost her life. 

"You made the choices that brought us here," the judge said. "I don't know that you could ever use the word 'mistake' to describe a murder, and a person was murdered."


  1. "I do believe you acted out of some fear but mainly anger and panic and unjustified fear is never an excuse to take someone's life."


    1. But 15 to 30? Don't you think that's a bit much?

    2. The vast majority get to little. The scales of justice have never balanced. I doubt he will spend nearly all that time in jail.

    3. It should be a manslaughter conviction, not murder. The way the judge described it it's manslaughter.

    4. And the appropriate sentence, according to you, TS?

    5. Here's the statue according to the Michigan Defense Lawyers:

      Penalty under Michigan Codified Law (Statutory law)

      750.317 Second degree murder; penalty.
      Sec. 317.

      Second degree murder—All other kinds of murder shall be murder of the second degree, and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life, or any term of years, in the discretion of the court trying the same.

  2. If he was really afraid of a black woman, he could have yelled through the door, "Get the fuck out of here, I'm calling the cops!" Instead, he shot her at close range.

    Manslaughter? In this case, murder is when you point a gun at someone who is no threat to you and pull the trigger anyway.

    1. I picture this guy as a victim of the gun-rights movement that continually tries to frighten people about the dangers of urban living. He bought into it totally, along with the continual bombardment about his rights - castle doctrine and stand your ground.