DETROIT — A Wayne County jury convicted Theodore Wafer on Thursday of second-degree murder, manslaughter and felony firearm in the fatal shooting of an unarmed woman on his front porch.
Wafer, 55, will be sentenced Aug. 25, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office. He faces up to life in prison.
"We are obviously very pleased with the jury verdict and feel that justice was served today. We sincerely hope that this brings some comfort to the family of Renisha McBride," Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement.
The defense had argued that Wafer's actions were in self-defense, saying he was scared after hearing banging on his side and front doors.
The prosecution said Wafer, of Dearborn Heights, Mich., shot 19-year-old McBride through a locked screen door. Prosecutors said Wafer came to the door with a loaded shotgun, released the safety, raised it at her, pulled the trigger and "blew her face off."
McBride was killed at about 4:30 a.m. Nov. 2 on Wafer's porch.
It's unclear why McBride was on Wafer's front porch, but hours before she was shot, McBride, who had been smoking marijuana and drinking vodka, hit a parked car about a half-mile from Wafer's house and may have suffered a concussion.
The verdict by the jury of seven men and five women, came during the second day of deliberations. The jurors listened to 27 witnesses testify over eight days. They started deliberating Wednesday after closing arguments.
Wafer was charged with second-degree murder, but jurors were able to consider the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter. He was also charged with manslaughter.
When the verdict was read, Wafer stared straight ahead.
After the verdict, Monica McBride, Renisha's mother, praised the prosecution.
"Her life mattered and we showed that," she said about her daughter.
Asked what he would say to the jury, Renisha's father, Walter Simmons said: "Thank you, thank you."
Simmons said he wants to see Wafer sentenced to life in prison.
During closing arguments Wednesday, Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Patrick Muscat had said Wafer "wanted a confrontation."
Cheryl Carpenter, Wafer's attorney, said during her closing argument Wednesday that the pounding on Wafer's home the morning of Nov. 2 was "getting louder and louder and louder and louder until the floors started vibrating, the walls were shaking, the window was about to break, the screen door was already broken."
Carpenter declined to comment after the verdict.
Monica McBride said the prosecutors "did a wonderful job proving their burden that they had. ... They had a heavy burden, but they made it through."
Simmons said he believes that the morning his daughter was killed, Wafer was mad and came to the door.
"He didn't even know her, you know," Simmons said. "She was a beautiful lady, you know. She had things going for her."
The prosecution asked for Wafer to be remanded into custody. Carpenter said Wafer is not a flight risk or danger to the community.
"He's not a risk to society, your honor," Carpenter said.
Judge Dana Hathaway remanded Wafer.
Contributing: Elisha Anderson, Detroit Free Press