Jury selection began on Monday in the murder trial of the Detroit man who shot unarmed, 19-year-old Renisha McBride in the face last November.

Thomas Wafer, 54, is charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, and committing a felony with a firearm in the fatal shooting of Renisha McBride, who walked up onto his porch hours after being involved in a car accident. Wafer claims he felt threatened and shot through his locked screen door but didn’t intend to kill McBride.

“My client has a very strong defense of this charge,” says defense attorney Mack Carpenter. “The likelihood of conviction is not that great.”

Wafer’s defense team will argue he was afraid of what he heard on his front porch.

However, NBC legal analyst Lisa Bloom says self-defense may be hard to argue. “This is certainly an unusual self-defense case because Theodore Wafer was in his home. The door was locked,” she says.

And according to the Wayne County Medical Examiner report, there was no evidence of “close range discharge.” Additionally, Wafer admitted during the 911 call that he shot someone who was asking for help.

Bloom says more evidence is likely to be presented at trial. Judge Dana Hathaway denied the defense’s request to present social media photos of McBride posing with an apparent gun and some weed.

“Our case is blown to pieces if you don’t allow me to argue to the jury that she could have been up to no good,” attorney Cheryl Carpenter told AP last month.

Bloom says she’d be surprised if Wafer was acquitted but added, at the least, the jury will likely convict him of manslaughter. If convicted of second-degree murder, he could face life in prison.

The trial is expected to last two to three weeks.

Like Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter
  • I hope that he will be convicted, but I am prepared for the worst. Obviously, Sister Renisha McBride was unarmed. She posed absolutely no direct threat to the murderer. She was trying to receive help after an accident. The door was locked. The murderer (via the 911 call) even admitted that Renisha was asking for help and then he killed her unjustly. The murderer killed her in a cold fashion. We have seen this story so many times where unjust extrajudicial murders of our Brothers and our Sisters have transpired.

    RIP Renisha McBride.

    • shybookworm

      Like all of you, I’m cautiously optimistic, but as Elizabeth Jones stated in her post, a jury can have all the evidence it needs to convict in these cases, and decides to act otherwise. Racists and privileged people always find ways to rationalize the wrong in a situation.

    • Yes, irrational people will always find ways to attempt to justify irrational decisions.

      This event is certainly a wake up call for those who are naive. Our ancestors have experienced the First Reconstruction from 1865 to 1877. Many of our relatives fought oppression during the Second Reconstruction from 1954 to 1968. Today, we live in a new generation. Certainly, racism and privileged power structures have harmed our people. I hope that the jury realizes the hurt that the family of Renisha has to go through. I hope that the jury witnesses the value of black human life.