This afternoon saw testimony from two additional Dearborn Heights law enforcement officers,  Tim Zawacki and Mark Parrinello.

Highlights of this afternoon’s events included a request by the Prosecution for sanctions against the defense for a mention earlier this morning of general crime in the Wafer neighborhood.  A pretrial ruling excludes such generalized mention of neighborhood crime unless a foundation can be established of Wafer’s personal knowledge of specific crime events (e.g., the defense’s proposed “neighborhood crime map” that was excluded by the Judge Hathaway).

Also important was the testimony by Officer Parrinello that the peephole in the front door was functional.  A key difficulty for the defense is the question of why Wafer opened the front door.  It was this act that made him vulnerable to potential attack, which is presumably his reason for having discharged the shotgun.  Had he simply stayed behind his locked door, no deadly force would have been required.  One possible explanation would have been that the peephole in his front door was disabled, and therefore he could ascertain the situation outside his front door only by opening it.  That argument’s power is now greatly diminished if not eliminated.

OK, folks, that’s it for today. As the tweet above states, there’s no court tomorrow, so we’ll see you all back on Monday.

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

[NOTE: Images of trial postings from the live blog of the Detroit Free Press have been removed at their request.]


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog (autographed copies available) and Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle). He holds many state-specific Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and produces free online self-defense law educational video- and podcasts at the Law of Self Defense University.