September 3, 2014
17 Years In Porch Shooting: Judge Hands Down Sentence For Theodore Wafer Over Renisha McBride Death

Theodore Wafer gets 17 years in prison for the porch shooting, a judge determined in the sentencing. Renisha McBride died after banging on the door of Wafer's Dearborn Heights home in the wee hours of the morning on November 2. Wafer was found guilty of second-degree murder in the incident, and now he has been sentenced.

Fox News shares that before the 17 years porch shooting sentence, Wafer told McBride's parents he was sorry for what had happened. Prosecutors sought at least 17 years in prison, which would include two years for unlawful gun use. Wafer's defense attorney had asked for a much lighter sentence, hoping for as little as six years. The defense attorney, Cheryl Carpenter, even reportedly dabbed away tears as she addressed the court at the sentencing. She said, "I'm so emotional and he's not, that doesn't mean he doesn't feel. He does."

Carpenter argued that given Wafer's age of 55, anything more than 10 years in prison would essentially be a life sentence. He will be eligible for parole once he has served the minimum sentence. The Los Angeles Times notes Wafer's sentence is actually 15 to 30 years for the second-degree murder conviction, plus two consecutive years for the gun crime. Even Judge Dana M. Hathaway reportedly shed tears during the hearing.

During the sentencing, Wafer read a short statement saying that he was "truly sorry" for the family's loss and "I can only hope and pray that somehow you can forgive me." Both McBride's father and sister read short statements as well. Renisha's father also read a short statement from a younger sister who indicated she was experiencing panic attacks and couldn't be at the hearing. Renisha's sister Jasmine said she thinks about the good times and "how it was cut short by a person's cowardly actions."

Carpenter argued a number of reasons why Wafer should receive a reduced sentence, including that she thought he could be rehabilitated and that the jury wouldn't want him to end up dying in prison. As she teared up, she said that the jury didn't think he was a bad guy and "They don't want a life sentence, they told you that." Second-degree murder carries a minimum sentence of 15 years.

Renisha McBride died of a single gunshot wound to the face. She had gotten into a car accident not far from Wafer's house, and it is believed she was likely knocking on his door looking for help. Theodore Wafer first said the shooting was accidental, but later he changed his story. The jury didn't believe that he acted out of self-defense either. In addition to the 17 years in the porch shooting from the judge, the family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Wafer.