Testimony begins in case of man accused of killing Renisha McBride

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Testimony began Wednesday in the trial of Theodore Wafer who shot and killed 19-year-old Renisha McBride.

Defense attorney Cheryl Carpenter says McBride was aggressively "banging" on Wafer's front and side doors, leading Wafer to believe several people were trying to break into his Dearborn Heights house.

Wafer is charged with Second Degree Murder.

In their opening statement, prosecutors showed jurors a photograph of McBride laying dead on Wafer's porch after she had been shot in the face. The photo brought gasps from the packed courtroom.

Prosecutors then played his call to 911.

We're told Wafer had been sleeping in a recliner and didn't call police before the shooting because he couldn't find his cell phone, but after the shooting Wafer found it in his back pocket.

According to investigators, McBride was intoxicated and crashed her car about two miles from where Wafer lives.

Carmen Beasley heard the crash that damaged her husband's parked car. Beasley says they tried to help McBride who had a bloody hand and appeared to have a head injury, but she says McBride couldn't even remember her phone number, seemed scared, disoriented and eager to go home.

McBride eventually walked away from the crash site before police or EMS arrived. 

It has not yet been explained how McBride made her way from the crash scene to Wafer's house. It's possible she simply walked.

McBride and Wafer were strangers.

Monica McBride, Renisha's mother, was first on the stand Wednesday and testified that they live in a corner house. It seemed as if prosecutors might be trying to suggest that McBride may have mistaken Wafer's house for her own.

In the months leading up to the trial, it has also been said that Renisha was knocking on Wafer's home because she needed help.

Wafer's defense attorneys contend that McBride was pounding on the doors and that scared him in the early hours of November 2, 2013. 

Wafer eventually opened his front door, but not the screen door, and shot McBride.

Wafer's defense attorney claims McBride had been banging on the door so strongly that it knocked the screen door's insert out of place. They say Wafer fired after a figure startled him.

The figure was McBride.

Prosecutors say it was not McBride that dislodged the screen door insert, but rather the blast from Wafer firing his shotgun that knocked it out of place.

"I don't have to prove that he intended to kill anyone, and it's not the people's position that he did intend to kill," said Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Danielle Hagaman-Clark. It's the people's position that he knowingly created the situation that death or great bodily harm was likely to occur."

It's possible Wafer will take the stand in his own defense.

Testimony will resume 9:00 Thursday morning.

The trial is expected to last 10 days.

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