Theodore Wafer (C) and his attorneys Cheryl (L) and Mack Carpenter leave the courtroom after his arraignment in Detroit, Jan. 15, 2014.
Rebecca Cook/Reuters

Trial date set in Renisha McBride shooting


The man charged with murder in the shooting death of 19-year-old Renisha McBride is set to go to trial in July. 

Theodore Wafer, of Michigan, who faces charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter, appeared in court Wednesday before the newly assigned judge in the case, Dana Hathaway of the Wayne County Circuit Court. 

Hathaway set the trial to begin July 21, and attorneys expect it to last roughly three weeks. Judge Qiana Lillard, the initial jurist in the case who was recused last week by a presiding judge, had scheduled the trial to begin six weeks earlier, on June 2. 

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The delay disappointed at least one member of McBride’s family, aunt Bernita Spinks. 

“He’s steadily buying time,” Spinks said after the hearing, according to The Detroit News. “He’s still walking around while my niece is dead.”

Wafer has admitted he fatally shot McBride in the face as she stood on the porch of his Dearborn Heights, Mich. home shortly before 5 a.m. on Nov. 2, 2013. Wafer has argued he feared for his life, while prosecutors have argued he should have kept his door shut and called the police, rather than opening his front door to shoot her through a screen door.

McBride had been in a car accident approximately a half mile from Wafer’s home a few hours before the shooting took place. A toxicology report showed she had marijuana and alcohol in her system at the time of her death. 

Wafer’s defense attorney will push to have evidence about McBride’s “lifestyle” entered into evidence at the trial, including images from her cell phone that show her with drugs and alcohol.  

Hathaway set the final pretrial hearing in the case for June 20.

Justice System and Michigan

Trial date set in Renisha McBride shooting