Court ruling could shorten Wafer's sentence

Posted at 6:11 PM, Apr 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-06 18:11:25-04

The Michigan appeals court says a man who fatally shot an unarmed woman on his porch in suburban Detroit can seek a new sentencing hearing.

The court upheld Theodore Wafer's murder and manslaughter convictions in the death of 19-year-old Renisha McBride. He was sentenced to at least 15 years in prison — the minimum under guidelines — plus two years for a gun crime.

But Michigan's sentencing rules have changed since Wafer's 2014 conviction and the guidelines are no longer mandatory. The appeals court said Wednesday that Wafer can ask the trial judge for a new hearing, although it's possible the sentence won't change.

Wafer shot McBride through a door screen in Dearborn Heights. He said he was fearful after being awakened by pounding. A jury rejected his self-defense claim.