DETROIT --Theodore Wafer stepped down from the witness stand today after nearly two days of trying to convince a Detroit jury that he was justified in killing Renisha McBride on his porch last year.
Wafer, 55, was the final defense witness. Closing arguments are expected to begin on Wednesday before the case goes to the jury.
The Dearborn Heights man is charged with second degree murder and manslaughter -- two charges that the judge said the jury must consider separately.
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Wayne County Circuit Judge Dana Hathaway also said the jury could consider the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter if they find Wafer acted in a grossly negligent manner and acted without lawful justification when he fatally shot McBride, according to the Detroit Free-Press.
Wafer, who is unmarried and does not have children, testified that he always entered through the side door of his house and did not keep his front porch well-lit. On Nov. 2, 2013, he said he woke up to the sound of someone banging on his door.
"I needed to find out what was going on," he said. "I didn't want to cower in my house, I didn't want to be a victim."
Wafer testified that he noticed his screen door was tampered with and then opened the front door further. He said he saw a figure emerge from the side of the house and fire. He said he then fired his gun.
Wafer testified that he "shot in fear" but did not shoot at a particular target.
McBride, 19, was shot in the face, falling on her back, with her feet facing Wafer's door, prosecutors said.
This was unbelievable. I still can't wrap my head around it that a woman could be making these sounds," said today.
Toxicology McBride was drunk when she showed up on Wafer's porch around 4:30 am. Wafer's house is a half-mile from where McBride had crashed her car earlier that night.
Whether Wafer acted in self-defense when he shot McBride will be up to the jury to decide.
"It was a threat, a threat that was coming in my house," Wafer said.
Wafer previously told police he didn't know his gun was loaded and said he shot McBride by accident, according to a recording played to jurors last week.
During cross examination, assistant prosecutor Athina Siringas poked holes in Wafer's story. She pointed out that he never told police he couldn't initially find his phone to call 911 and said he never told them he was scared until he was asked.
"I had a lot of emotions, fear, panicking," Wafer said. "I guess in front of a cop I didn't want to come across as less of a man."
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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