Though Michigan homeowner Theodore Wafer, 54, claims he shot Renisha McBride, 19, by accident, Kym L. Worthy, the prosecutor of Wayne County announced Friday that charges of second-degree murder, manslaughter and possession of felony firearm would be brought against Wafer.
Two weeks ago, McBride was in a car accident late at night in the Detriot area and walked up to Wafer's house, presumably to ask for help. A toxicology report indicates that she was legally intoxicated, with a blood alcohol level more than double the legal limit of .08 and traces of marijuana in her system, but Worthy denies that those details are relevant to the case. Witnesses say that Wafer opened his door and shot McBride in the face with a shotgun through his screendoor.
In a press conference, Worthy said that there was no sign that Wafer was actually in danger and acting in self-defense. Though many have said Wafer's decision to shoot McBride was racially charged (McBride is black and Wafer has been reported as white, though police will not release his race), Worthy was unwilling to speculate about the role race played in the shooting:
...we make our decisions based on the facts and the evidence. It's always interesting to me what the public makes their decisions on when it comes to one way or another. We have the facts, we have the evidence and we make our decisions based on that and that alone. In this case, the charging decision has nothing whatever to do with the race of the parties. Whether it becomes relevant later on, I don't know.
When pressed further about the similarities between the McBride case and the shooting of Trayvon Martin, Worthy wouldn't comment on that either. "I've been focused on this case and the 40 other homicides that have occurred in this town since October 1st," she said. One reporter asked if it was true that McBride had been wearing a hoodie, to which Worthy responded, "That sounds like an attempt to compare it to another case."
"I'm confident when the evidence comes it will show that my client was justified and acted as a reasonable person would who was in fear for his life," Wafer's attorney told the Detroit News. If convicted, Wafer could spend his life in prison.
Image via Paul Sancya/AP