DETROIT, Mich (AP) – “I wasn’t going to cower in my house.”
Those were the words of 55-year-old Theodore Wafer as he gave his testimony to jurors in Detroit after he allegedly opened fire on a woman who he heard banging on the door of his suburban home in the early morning hours of November 2.
The victim, 19-year-old Renisha McBride, was drunk but unarmed.
In court Monday, Wafer said that he was afraid when someone showed up on his porch last year and began banging on his door, adding that he said he was not going to be a victim in his own home.
Wafer is currently charged with second-degree murder in the death of McBride, facing a sentence of up to life in person with a chance of parole, if convicted.
Despite Wafer and his defense team saying that the man acted in self-defense, Wayne County prosecutors believe that he could have stayed behind his locked door and call police instead of confronting McBride.
While on the stand, he said that he opened the door and show his outer door damaged. By the time he opened the outer door, Wafer said “this person came out from the side of my house so fast. I raised the gun and shot.”
He added that he was worried there were more people on the side of his home and that he pulled the trigger to defend himself.
“It was them or me,” Wafer said.
Once police arrived at the home, they found McBride on the ground just off the porch.
Immediately following the shooting, there were some questions if race played a role in the death of McBride but that faded after neither the prosecution or defense raised the issue during court hearings before the trial.
During McBride’s autopsy, it was revealed that her blood-alcohol level was about 0.22, which is almost three times Michigan’s legal limit for driving. It was also reported that McBride crashed her car into a parked car in Detroit nearly three hours before she was shot outside Wafer’s home.
In an effort to keep himself safe, Wafer said that he bought a shotgun six years ago because he could not afford a security system. He added that the believes the neighborhood he lives in has changed since he first bought his home in 1994.
Retired Michigan state Trooper David Balash provided expert testimony on the scope of the firearm hole left in the door following the fatal shooting.
While on the stand, Balash said that the hole in the door shows that Wafer was near the door when the gun was used. In addition, buckshot wounds on McBride’s body shows that she was standing near the door when the gun was used.
“My opinion is she was very close to the door … within a foot,” Balash told the jury.
It is unclear how or why McBride was on Wafer’s porch and investigators could not find a connection between the two.
Wafer is expected back on the stand this week.
Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond