DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. – The Michigan Supreme Court will hear arguments Thursday in the case of a man sentenced to 17 years in prison after he shot and killed a woman in 2013.
Ted Wafer is asking the high court to reconsider his second-degree murder and manslaughter charges, arguing it was improper to be charged with both since his sentence was enhanced due to the manslaughter conviction.
Wafer opened his front door in Dearborn Heights and shot Renisha McBride, 19, through a screen door almost 10 years ago. McBride had been in a car accident and prosecutors had speculated she was disoriented when she began pounding on his door.
Wafer, arguing he feared for his life, shot McBride instead of calling 911. A jury rejected the self-defense claim and convicted him in 2014. Now, the 62-year-old is hoping to reduce his sentence.
In a court filing, prosecutors said murder and manslaughter with a gun still fit because each crime has different elements.
“Each offense requires proof of an element the other does not,” the prosecutor’s office said. “No clear legislative intent to the contrary exists. Multiple convictions are thus permitted.”
Wafer is white and McBride was Black, and some people wondered in the aftermath of the shooting whether race was a factor, likening it to the 2012 shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.
But race was hardly mentioned at trial.
The Associated Press contributed to this report