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Renisha McBride Porch Shooting: Prosecutors to Push for Minimum 17-year Prison Sentence for Convicted Shooter

First Posted: Aug 29, 2014 06:00 PM EDT
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Prosecutors in the Renisha McBride porch shooting case are seeking to lock convicted killer Theodore Wafer away in prison for at least 17 years.

On Nov. 2, 2013, McBride, a 19-year-old African American woman, crashed into a parked car in Detroit after a night of drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana. She wandered around for hours before she ended up in the suburban neighborhood of Dearborn Heights and knocked on Theodore Wafer's door around 4:30 a.m.

Prosecutors say that Wafer opened his door and shot the unarmed teen in the head around 4:40 a.m. The defense claimed that he feared for his life and shot her in self-defense, however the jury decided that the 55-year-old defendant's reaction to McBride was unjustifiable. As a result, he was found him guilty of second-degree murder, manslaughter and using a firearm in a felony on Aug. 7, reports the New York Daily News.

According to prosecutors, the sentencing guidelines for second-degree murder are set between 15 to 25 years in prison. In addition, he could also receive an automatic two-year prison sentence for the unlawful use of a gun.

Prosecutors say they plan to push for a minimum 17-year prison term when he returns to court for his sentencing next week.

However, his defense attorney, Cheryl Carpenter, argued that the judge should sentence Wafer to as little as six years in prison, including two for the firearm charge.

"The facts and circumstances of this case are more akin to manslaughter than murder," Carpenter said, according to the Assoicated Press. "It does not seem fair or just that a person who does not intend to kill another person is convicted of murder."

"What Mr. Wafer did may not be a choice you or I would make. That's not the standard," Carpenter wrote in a court filing Thursday. "What is reasonable to do when you are awoken in the middle of the night, alone in the house, the peephole and front screen broken by what you honestly believe is a person or persons trying to do you harm?"

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