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Detroit Front Porch Shooting case: Day 4 Mid-Day Wrap-Up

Detroit Front Porch Shooting case: Day 4 Mid-Day Wrap-Up

Judge again denies admission of cell phone pics and social media accounts; Prosecution’s Investigator and State Police firearms forensics expert testify

We;re back with day 4 of the second degree murder trial of Theodore Wafer for the shooting death of Renisha McBride on Wafer’s Detroit front porch in the early morning hours of November 2, 2013.

The day started, as has become customary, with Wafer’s defense counsel Cheryl Carpenter asking Judge Dana Hathaway to allow into evidence certain cell phone pictures from McBride’s phone, as well as some of her social media information–specifically, her Twitter account handle, “Young and Thugging.”  Judge Hathaway again excluded the pics, and also the Twitter handle, noting that the account had been closed in June 2012 and was too far distant from the events of November 2013.

The number of witnesses saw a considerable decline relative to earlier days of the trial, with only two witnesses being moved through, and the second of those only through direct examination.  These two were:

  • James Bivens Jr., Chief, Criminal Investigative Division of the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Michigan State Police Detective Sergeant Shawn Kolonich, a forensics firearms expert

There was nothing particularly notable about Kolonich’s testimony on direct.  Bivens’ testimony raised some issues, such as the State’s refusal–upheld by Judge Hathaway–to deny the defense certain of Bivens’ raw notes, as well as a question from the defense asking if it would have been relevant to Bivens’ if it turned out McBride has spent the “missing hours” in a drug house.

Court’s expected to come back into session at 1:30 PM.

Keep your eyes open for our end-of-day wrap-up this evening.

–-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

I am having a little trouble with this duty to retreat doctrine. Andrews advises, retreat, retreat and retreat some more. Sometimes retreating can be a provocation and invitation to further attack. It is very contextual.

I have had the personal experience of diffusing angry gang members through talk. Retreat might have resulted in gunfire. Explaining that they were respected served to diffuse.

In Maryland one has a “duty to retreat or avoid danger if such means were within his power and consistent with his safety.” ” DeVaughn v. State, 232 Md. 447, 453, 194 A.2d 109, 112 (1963)

The key here is “or avoid danger”. Is trying to diffuse a situation trying to avoid danger. Or should I have run down that open avenue and perhaps been shot in the back to comply with Maryland Law?

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to sequester. | July 29, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Wrong case

    Shane in reply to sequester. | July 29, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    As MouseTheLuckyDog said wrong case.

    Aside from that how hard is it for you to not open your door and call the police? Especially when there is a mean spirited evil gang banger on your porch?

      tom swift in reply to Shane. | July 29, 2014 at 2:45 pm

      There was some question about Wafer’s difficulty in finding his ‘phone. That, coupled with the urgency of the situation – someone apparently trying to break his door in – might make Wafer’s unwillingness to simply hunker down and wait for the police a bit more understandable.

      m1 in reply to Shane. | July 29, 2014 at 8:05 pm

      Who is this mean spirited gang banger you are speaking of?

    tom swift in reply to sequester. | July 29, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    I have had the personal experience of diffusing angry gang members through talk.

    “Duty to retreat” means duty to retreat in lieu of use of deadly force.

    If you had ended up talking these angry gang members to death, your failure to retreat first might have been an issue. Otherwise, not so much.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to sequester. | July 29, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Actually, since you were facing “gang members” the argument could be made that due to the disparity of force you could not safely retreat.

    The point being safely retreat, it must be safe or it is not required even in harsh duty to retreat states.

some of her social media information–specifically, her Twitter account handle, “Young and Thugging.”
++++++++++++

I wonder if she’s any relation to Trayvon “No Limit N—a” Martin?

Interesting how so many people who end up dead from gunshots self-describe as thugs on social media.

    tom swift in reply to Observer. | July 29, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Well, in some circles it’s considered “cool” to be a loser.

    I’m not sure it’s instructive to single out McBride for criticism on that score when all she was doing was flocking with the other turkeys.

    Laser Beam in reply to Observer. | July 30, 2014 at 1:29 am

    Well put.

MouseTheLuckyDog | July 29, 2014 at 2:04 pm

OMG. It’s Judge Luna Lovegood!

    Ragspierre in reply to Gus. | July 29, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    You are excused, Gus. You are also excused from any expectation you can responsibly use a knife or scissors.

    Because you are are moronic troll. Now, go post on Kos.

Gremlin1974 | July 29, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Well we now have our first argument for appeal that may work, i.e. refusing to give the defense the notes.

“hell hath no fury like that of a woman scorned”. after hiding from the police for several hours, this skank was not gonna be denied her booty call. the problem is she was at the wrong house.

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