Wafer, 55, was found guilty of second-degree murder, homicide, and one count of felony firearm.
McBride was in a car accident in the early hours of Nov. 2, 2013, after which she apparently sought assistance at Wafer’s doorstep. Wafer shot and killed McBride, 19, with a shotgun through the screen door on his porch.
Wafer testified that he believed McBride was an intruder and that he feared for his life. McBride was intoxicated but prosecutors argued that Wafer didn’t need to use deadly force to get her away from his Dearborn Heights, Mich. home.
“We are obviously very pleased with the jury verdict and feel that justice was served today,” prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement. “We sincerely hope that this brings some comfort to the family of Renisha McBride.”
The case drew national attention amid the debate over “stand your ground laws” – which allow people to use deadly force instead of retreating in the face of a perceived grave threat – and in the wake of the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of another unarmed teen, Trayvon Martin.
Michigan is one of 46 states that have adopted the “castle doctrine,” which removes homeowners’ duty to retreat and allows the use of lethal force in the face of a perceived threat.
Defense attorneys argued that McBride’s past should be a factor in the trial. They alleged that McBride sold drugs and Wafer’s attorneys also tried to argue that McBride’s Twitter account name should be admissible because it included the word “thuggin’ ”.
Renisha’s mother, Monica McBride, said in response to the verdict: ”We know who she was. Everyone has their opinion, you’re entitled. We know as parents how we raised her. Not violent, she was a regular teenager. Her life mattered, and we showed that.”
Wafer will be formally sentenced on Monday, August 25, 2014 at 9:00 a.m.