Theodore Wafer Trial Judge Disallows Victim’s Texts
By Ed White
DETROIT — A judge on Friday rejected a request to turn the victim’s text messages into evidence for the defense at the upcoming trial of a Detroit-area man who fatally shot a young unarmed woman on his porch.Attorney Cheryl Carpenter said slang references to marijuana were critical for the defense because they suggest Renisha McBride was selling drugs and may have had an aggressive side.
“I don’t want to use this to drag her through the mud. You won’t hear me argue at trial she’s a bad person. … If you strip this from me, you’re going to hamstring the defense,” Carpenter said.
But Wayne County Judge Dana Hathaway said using the messages as evidence would be unfair because “none of these” show the 19-year-old was an aggressor before she was shot in the face last November on Theodore Wafer’s Dearborn Heights porch.
Wafer, 55, is charged with second-degree murder. His lawyers say he shot McBride in self-defense because he feared for his safety when she banged on his door before dawn. Prosecutors, however, say he should have kept the door closed and called 911.