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Detroit Front Porch Shooting case: Day 3 Mid-Day Wrap-Up

Detroit Front Porch Shooting case: Day 3 Mid-Day Wrap-Up

Wafer neighbor hears outside noises prior to gun shot; ATF cell phone expert maps out locations of McBride’s cell phone up to her crash

Today continues with the third day of the murder trial of Theodore Wafer in the Detroit front porch shooting death of Renisha McBride.  We covered days two and one here (presented in reverse chronological order):

Detroit Front Porch Shooting case: Day 2 End-of-Day Wrap-Up

Detroit Front Porch Shooting case: Day 2 Mid-Day Wrap-Up

Detroit Front Porch Shooting case: Day 1 End-of-Day Wrap-Up

Detroit Front Porch Shooting case: Day 1 Mid-Day Wrap-Up

This morning saw testimony from five witnesses, among them:

  • Davonta Bynes who texted with McBride the night of her death.
  • Ray Murad, a neighbor of Wafer’s who heard noise before the shooting, as well as the shot itself.
  • Michigan State Police Detective Sergeant Kevin Lucidi, an accident reconstruction expert.
  • Livonia Detective Wade Higgason, who recovered McBride’s cell phone from her impounded vehicle.
  • ATF Special Agent Stan Brue, an expert on cell phone records.

Before any witnesses were heard or the jury brought in, however, the defense once again renewed their calls for Judge Hathaway to allow into evidence certain of McBride’s texts and history of her prior driving accidents.  Again, they were refused.

–-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.

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Comments

BrokeGopher | July 28, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Why do you suppose the state is spending so much time on the crash investigation? Does that have something to do with whether he shot her in self defense? Is it just to keep the defense from getting an a-HA moment?

    Gremlin1974 in reply to BrokeGopher. | July 28, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Most likely it is to cement sympathy towards McBride. They have already asked on witness if they believed that McBride had a “Closed Head Injury”, and that witness was the wife of the owner of the car McBride hit.

    So they are doing it to say “she was out of her mind and didn’t know what she was doing and shouldn’t have been shot. Which isn’t really legally relevant, unless Wafer had some way of knowing that she was out of her mind. That would be my guess anyway.

    Olinser in reply to BrokeGopher. | July 28, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    They’re essentially trying to pre-provide the explanation of, “She was in a bad accident and was just confused!” before the defense starts in on her erratic behavior.

    It’s not a bad strategy in itself. Regardless of what the judge tells you about not making up your mind until you hear all the evidence, it is VERY tough to change somebody’s mind once they’ve decided something.

    So the prosecution is trying (and IMO, doing a very poor job) of anticipating the defense strategy of painting McBride as a drunk, stoned, aggressive threat to Wafer, and trying to head it off by saying she was confused by the accident.

      BrokeGopher in reply to Olinser. | July 28, 2014 at 3:06 pm

      What I’m missing is how does that bear on Wafer’s belief that he was in danger? McBride’s intent has nothing to do with it. Her behavior does, and they’re establishing that she was drunk and trying to get in.

        Olinser in reply to BrokeGopher. | July 28, 2014 at 3:59 pm

        Like I said, I think the prosecution is doing it poorly.

        They’re presenting the evidence themselves to try and give a ‘reasonable’ explanation for McBride’s erratic actions, so that when she shows up on Wafer’s porch she isn’t drunk, stoned, and aggressive, she’s hurt and confused and just looking for help.

        What Mr Casanova and his ‘bring dat ass to me’ was supposed to accomplish, I haven’t the faintest idea.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Olinser. | July 28, 2014 at 4:37 pm

          “What Mr Casanova and his ‘bring dat ass to me’ was supposed to accomplish, I haven’t the faintest idea.”

          Yea, that one just boggled my mind. I have no idea what relevance a possible booty call has to do with anything. Frankly, it could have harmed the image of the victim in some jurors eyes.

          Humphrey's Executor in reply to Olinser. | July 28, 2014 at 4:57 pm

          “Drawing the sting”?

          tom swift in reply to Olinser. | July 28, 2014 at 5:00 pm

          I wonder if she was so confused that she thought that Wafer’s house was at Faust & West Warren – the address where she was scheduled to deliver dat ass.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Olinser. | July 28, 2014 at 5:06 pm

          @Tom Swift

          Unfortunately we will never know. From my medical training I am perfectly willing to believe that she could have been that confused even after so many hours. A impact in a car moving in the 30 to 40 mile an hour range can kill, combine that with the booze and THC, that could very well be the case.

          MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Olinser. | July 28, 2014 at 6:33 pm

          The texts were elicited on cross.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Olinser. | July 29, 2014 at 12:16 am

      I don’t see this helping the prosecution’s case at all. My guess is that they want to advance the theory that McBride was injured such that she was seeking help and wanted to use a phone rather than being at Wafer’s home to cause him harm. And, of course, the prosecution wants to garner sympathy for the victim and may go as far as to suggest that Wafer should have helped her instead of shooting her, as though, by way of her injury, she somehow became his responsibility in life.

      But what they’re accomplishing is showing that McBride was in a condition such that her irresponsible, bizarre behavior would or could be frightening, especially at that hour.

we now have the scenario. drunken skank in a hurry for a booty call, crashes into parked car looking for address or texting, hides from police for 4 hrs, finds her way to the wrong house, in a high crime neighborhood, to get busy, frustrated that no one is answering the door goes off on both the side and front doors, scaring the occupant into accidently shooting her in self defense. we got it.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to vsop4u. | July 28, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    “accidentally shooting her in self defense.”

    Can’t happen, accidental shooting and self defense are mutually exclusive.

    Also, there is no reason to be insulting of the dead girl, who very well could have just been confused from a blow to the head as from the booze and THC. Mrs. McBride doesn’t sound much different from many people her age these days, even though I don’t understand it, I also realize that I am from a generation that may as well have been a different world.

There is certainly a lot of noise in this case but I still have trouble understanding why he even opened the door. He didn’t have to do that.. and he didn’t have to have his finger on the trigger when he did it.

I’ve been in this situation before. I lived in Detroit for 5 years and one time someone knocked at our door in the middle of the night.. the girl I was dating at the time grabbed the Remington and aimed, but she never put her finger on the trigger.

Neither of us would ever fathom opening that door. It just wouldn’t happen. Anybody and everybody living in Detroit knows better.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Vince. | July 28, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    “but I still have trouble understanding why he even opened the door. He didn’t have to do that”

    No he didn’t and it isn’t a very tactically sound move, but it also doesn’t mean he is guilty of murder.

    “and he didn’t have to have his finger on the trigger when he did it.”

    Yep, and his poor gun safety is probably going to mean a conviction, which it should if his own negligence lead to someone’s death.

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Vince. | July 28, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Hey the mating call of a drunk skank at 4am can be quite scary.

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