US & Canada

Detroit homeowner to be tried for shooting of Renisha McBride

Theodore Wafer appeared at his arraignment in 20th District Court in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, on 15 November 2013
Image caption Theodore Wafer is accused of shooting a teenager in the face on his front porch on 2 November (file photo)

A homeowner in Detroit, Michigan, who fatally shot a young black woman on his porch will stand trial for second-degree murder, a judge said.

Theodore Wafer, 54, admitted shooting Renisha McBride in the face on 2 November, arguing self-defence.

McBride, 19, was later found to be intoxicated at the time of her death.

Prosecutors argued Mr Wafer should have remained inside his home and called the police when McBride came to the home following a car crash.

Lawyers for Mr Wafer argued he had feared for his life and should be protected under self-defence laws.

Michigan is one of several US states with a so-called stand your ground law, which allows the use of deadly force if a person feels their life is in danger.

'Bad choice'

But Judge David Turfe ordered Mr Wafer sent to trial, saying he had made a "bad choice when there were other reasonable opportunities".

Image caption Renisha McBride, shown in a photograph held by a mourner, was in a road accident before she was shot, her family says

"We can't allow [someone] to use a bad decision as a shield to criminal prosecution," he added.

A post-mortem examination found McBride had been shot in the face.

The teenager registered a blood alcohol level of more than twice Michigan's legal driving limit. She had also been smoking marijuana.

A car registered to McBride's family was found to have been involved in a collision with a parked vehicle several hours before the shooting, a few streets away.

A witness has said she was bleeding and holding her head after the crash. McBride apparently walked away from the scene before an ambulance arrived.

It is unclear what happened in the meantime.

McBride's killing prompted claims of racial profiling and attracted the attention of black civil rights leaders.

Mr Wafer's lawyer, Cheryl Carpenter, told reporters the ruling was a disappointment.

"We look forward to trial where you will get all of the evidence," she said.

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