iStock/Thinkstock(DETROIT) — Theodore Wafer took the stand Monday to tell his side of the story of what happened the night he fatally shot Renisha McBride on his porch outside his suburban Detroit home.
Defense attorneys had previously refused to say whether Wafer, 55, would testify at his own murder trial. But after seven days of witness testimony, Wafer took the stand Monday afternoon.
When the judge asked how he was doing, Wafer replied that he was “nervous.”
Wafer is charged with second-degree murder in the death of McBride, 19, after she showed up on his porch in Dearborn Heights during the early morning of Nov. 2, 2013.
Last week, Dr. Werner Spitz, a forensic pathologist called by the defense, testified that he believed McBride had a concussion from the car crash. He added that McBride’s blood alcohol level would have caused her to experience a loss of judgement.
Also of interest to Spitz was an apparent laceration on McBride’s hand. He told the jury that she may have injured it from pounding on Wafer’s door. The testimony contradicted that of the medical examiner, who said he did not observe anything out of the ordinary on McBride’s hand during the autopsy.
Dr. Kilak Kesha, an assistant medical examiner from Wayne County, described McBride’s brain as “pulpified” and how the bullet wound the teen suffered proved catastrophic. He also told the jury that he wasn’t able to discern any other injuries.
Whether Wafer’s screen door was torn from a break-in attempt or if it was damaged from the bullets he allegedly fired at McBride will be a key question in the case, which is reminiscent of the George Zimmerman trial in Florida.
McBride, who is black, was shot in the face, falling on her back, with her feet facing Wafer’s door, prosecutors said.
Wafer, who is white, told police he didn’t know his gun was loaded and said he shot the unarmed teen by accident, according to a recording played to jurors.
Under a 2006 Michigan self-defense law, a homeowner has the right to use force during a break-in. Otherwise, a person must prove his or her life was in danger.
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