Renisha McBride's killer sentenced to minimum of 17 years in prison

theGRIO REPORT - Theodore Wafer, Renisha Mcbride's killer, was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to a minimum of seventeen years in prison.

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Theodore Wafer, Renisha Mcbride’s killer, was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to a minimum of seventeen years in prison.

Wafer was accused of shooting McBride, 19, when she emerged on his front porch early morning on November 4, last year.

It was about 4:40 AM when McBride made her way onto the Wafer’s front porch. Wafer said that McBride aggressively pounded on both the front and side doors of his home. Fearing that the loud sounds were made by home invaders, he unlocked his front door and shot McBride through the screen door.

Wafer was convicted last month at the end of a nine-day trial, which focused on whether the 55-year old man had an honest and reasonable belief that his safety was threatened.

In his testimony, he mentioned that he was asleep before Mcbride arrived and was awakened by the loud banging on his door. He claimed to have shot Mcbride because he was afraid for his safety. He also claimed during trial that he didn’t know his shotgun was loaded and he never meant to kill Mcbride. The jury rejected his self-defense claim.

It is not known as to why McBride ended up at the Wafer residence that fateful morning. Prosecutors speculate that she may have been seeking help. Her car had apparently struck another car several blocks away and she had fled the scene. Autopsy reports showed that she had an alcohol level of .21 and marijuana in her system.

Wafer was convicted of second-degree murder – which meant that the jury believed that he intentionally killed McBride. He was also found guilty of manslaughter.

He received a minimum of fifteen years for the second degree murder charge, overriding the 7 to 15 year punishment for manslaughter. He was also convicted for unlawful use of a firearm and was sentenced two years for that charge.

The court room was fraught with emotions. Defense attorney Cheryl Carpenter asked for a minimum of six years in prison. Considering Wafer’s age – 55 – she argued anything more than 10 years in prison was tantamount to a life sentence.

Wafer also spoke during the trial, issuing an emotional apology to McBride’s family. He said that he had taken away the life of a woman who was too young to die, and that he would “carry that guilt and sorrow forever.”

While race was hardly mentioned in the trial, many people speculate that it might have played a hand in the case. McBride was black and Wafer is white, and many wonder if race was indeed a factor.