Ted Wafer Trial July 31, 2014 Afternoon

At the request of mothman, this thread is now open to continue reporting and discussing the Ted Wafer trial for today.


Here’s the video from WXYZ-TV Detroit, recapping today’s hearing.


Posted on 07/31/2014, in Cases, Renisha McBride and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 69 Comments.

  1. crustyolemothman

    Xena, Thank you, but if Ihad realized the Judge would pull the plug for the day this early I would not have requested it…. But thanks for the effort anyway, it was appreciated.

    • Mothman,
      It’s okay. Discussion can still continue. I’m watching WXYZ for updates — they should have something on their 5 p.m. broadcast, which is 4 p.m. my time.

  2. crustyolemothman

    I have a question, that I did not have time to ask when the statement was made. The witness said there was a difference of about 5 1/2 inches from the porch to the inside of the house, was that a step up or a step down into the house? Also, with the difference in the heights between the victim and the murderer being approx. 5’4″ for the victim and 6′ 1″ for the murderer how does he make the claim to have shot her in the head at the location and thru the hole in the screen he would have had to hold the gun over his head? Could the victim been looking up at him when the shot was made? Just curious….

    • From the photos, I think the 5 1/2 inches was a step up into the house. What Wafer calls a “porch” does not appear to be anything more than a step.

      My speculation? Renisha thought she was home, and seeing Wafer open the door and realizing it was not her house, turned to walk away when he shot her, which is why only one side of her face was shot.

  3. Putting my 2 cents in—

    In my humble opinion, the defense is losing the jury on testimony about where Ted might have been standing, the angle of the shot, etc. Everyone knows that Ted shot Renisha in the face with a shotgun. Everyone knows that Ted opened his front door, but not the screen door when he shot Renisha. Everyone knows that Renisha was not coming through either door when Ted killed her.

    There was no struggle between Renisha and Ted. He did not tell the police that she said anything; no verbal threat.

    Will Ted take the witness stand? I think not, and that will leave the jury with not much to decide other than the evidence presented by the prosecution.

  4. There is no court tomorrow in Ted Wafer’s case. It reconvenes on Monday at 9 a.m.

  5. yahtzeebutterfly

    I am going out with my husband now to get a medium cup of black raspberry ice cream!!

    • Oooh. That sounds good. In a few minutes, it’s pill and eye drop time for me. I might just take a nap. 🙂

  6. Help me out here. This has bothered me since I first heard it. Did Wafer say that he shot someone with a shotgun banging on his door? Was that to give a defense for his first statement that the shotgun went off accidentally — because he banged on his own door with it?

    • crustyolemothman

      Yes it does sound like he stated he shot someone with a shotgun at his door…

      • “uh yes, I just shot somebody on my front porch, with a shotgun, banging on my door.”
        It sounds like he might have been “confused”–not sure if that is the right word. When the dispatcher asks him his city he just says thank you and disconnects. I took it that he was saying that they were banging on his door and he shot them.

    • yahtzeebutterfly

      “Was that to give a defense for his first statement that the shotgun went off accidentally — because he banged on his own door with it?”

      Xena, I think he added a further description of the person at his front door (=the person banging on my door)

      ….. and not that he used the shot gun to slam (bang) against his door to make her go away…there would be a hole in the wood of the regular door. (unless he had the gun aimed at her and then his right foot behind the wide open door and made an angry slam backwards against the door to emphasize that she had better take off……….but that is too far fetched.)

      • If you have a semi-automatic shotgun, like he did, you wouldn’t bang it on a door to scare them you would do the cocking of the shotgun for the sound. Just about everyone knows what that sound is.

        • around the parts where i grew up, that sound was considered ‘the warning shot’. i suspect we share opinions on warning shots as well.

        • crustyolemothman

          But you forgot, he did not slide the action on the shotgun when he loaded it, right, and he did not know that it was loaded, so see he could not have cocked the slide action shotgun that he used to murder the victim… Psst it wasn’t/isn’t a semi-automatic shotgun but a slide action instead… Sorry, I just had to do that, the devil made me do it… 😉

          • I meant to say “pump” shotgun don’t know why I said semi-automatic….thank you for the correction. 🙂

          • True he didn’t say he cocked it but I was only adding comment to that if you want to “scare” someone with a shotgun you wouldn’t bang it on the door you would slide/pump the shotgun….just about every one knows what that sounds is.

          • crustyolemothman

            towerflower, I actually knew what you meant, and if it had been anyone else (as in someone without a sense of humor), I would never have mentioned (teased?) it to them…. Just because we have a different viewpoint about the necessity of guns, does not mean that we can’t be friends, right?

          • No worries, I know my viewpoint on firearms isn’t highly supported. I would never let a difference of opinion threaten a friendship.

      • yahtzeebutterfly

        Thanks to both of you!

  7. Photo of Ted Wafer’s house.

    • I hate to call that a porch. it’s like steps to the front door. it’s so small he could easily see anyone on the steps from the peep hole and the windows. he’s a pos liar who thought he could simply blow a perfect stranger away for stepping on HIS stupid steps!!

      • agreed, shannon, calling that a ‘porch’ is delusions of grandeur. the best i can do is refer to it as a stoop. anyone who thinks that setting foot on those steps and knocking on a screen/storm door is a threat should be institutionalized, they would not be mentally sound for the real world.

      • Shannon, agreed. There’s no porch to that house.

        And, look at the nice, big, picture window that’s perfect for breaking and entering.

  8. Photo of autopsy for where Renisha was shot.

  9. yahtzeebutterfly

    Xena, you crossed the 200,000 “hits” mark for your blog today! 🙂


  10. butterflydreamer2

    Moved over from prev posting. What are your thoughts so far?

    Is he stating he shot her because he was in fear for is life, claiming self-defense or that he didn’t mean to shoot her, it was an accident?

    I can’t get past the point that someone in fear for their life would take an unloaded gun open a door, to confront three people who he thinks is breaking into his house and could be armed.

    If he stating it was an accident, he didn’t know the gun was loaded, how can he claim self defense. It sounds as if he wasn’t in fear for his life, he didn’t intend on shooting her, he didn’t know he had a loaded gun. I don’t consider that self defense, he caused the death.

    I am not clear to what his claiming, and so far have not heard anything that would render a not guilty verdict.

    • i did respond to this question on the previous thread — hopefully you will see the notification on your dashboard. if you don’t, i’ll go back and find it.

    • yahtzeebutterfly

      He started out claiming it was an accident and then lawyered up and pushed his self defense claim…..yes, which is it?

    • Dreamer,
      Wafer’s attorneys are claiming that he thought someone was breaking into his house. Based on their opening statement, they are using the Castle Doctrine in Wafer’s defense. Problem for them is that his police statement is not consistent with that. IIRC, the prosecution has not presented the conflicting defenses that he gave later — only the one where he said the gun went off by accident.

      Unless Wafer testifies, the prosecution will be able to wrap up in closing that the defense promised the jury it would hear evidence that it ultimately did not hear.

      • Dannywarrior

        I agree Xena. Seems defense is claiming both Castle doctrine & accidental discharge out of fear. Which goes to show you even his attorney´s are aware a conviction of Manslaughter is very likely.

        For those unaware, Castle Doctrine is an exception to “duty to retreat” for self defense in your home or buisness. Some states have extended it to your vehicle and other outer buildings on private & public property(more so used when a robbery is occuring in public). Legally, this law allows someone to apply deadly force against an intruder (or an invited guest) who intends to commit an armed robbery and/or inflict serious bodily harm upon the person or upon those in the property.

        In Michigan the wording allows self defense in cases where a person “honestly and reasonably” believes they or another person are being threatened with death, severe injury or rape. Self defense is accepted in these situations because there usually is no means to escape. In Michigan there’s no legal duty to retreat in those circumstances either at home or out in public. Fear of bodily harm need to be HONEST & REASONABLE.
        Defense certainly did beef up his “fear” since the preliminary hearing.
        I am not saying, nor do I think anyone is, that Wafer should not have feared the sounds he heard at his door at 4:30 am. I believe anyone would initially be alarmed.
        Someone in “fear” of death or injury will not open a door. Especially after what the defense stating Wafer believed there was freaking home invasion siege! (Which he never stated to police BTW)

        Judge Turfe, a man that knows the law better than I said this when deciding it would be held for trial.
        “This court recognizes you can’t automatically penalize someone for making a bad decision when pressed to react quickly, but at the same time we can’t allow one to use a bad decision as a shield to criminal prosecution.
        “The defendant made a bad choice when there were other reasonable opportunities.”

        The law, requires that even though someone may fear a situation, there need be no means to escape death, serious injury, or rape. Were all of Wafer´s actions HONEST & REASONABLE?
        The question now is…..did Wafer have an honest and reasonable belief that he had no escape from death, severe injury, or rape?
        Once the Jury is instructed on the laws and they deliberate the evidence, I doubt even if Wafer takes the stand they will decide on an all out aquittal.

        • Once the Jury is instructed on the laws and they deliberate the evidence, I doubt even if Wafer takes the stand they will decide on an all out aquittal.

          In a fair world, yes. If there are biases that focus on the victim rather than the charge and evidence, we might have another hung jury like in the Dunn case.

  11. yahtzeebutterfly

    Dr. Spitz kept saying that Renisha’s hand was swollen and fingers pudgy.

    If you look at the family photo here of Renisha holding a cellphone (the orange picture), you can see that her left hand looks fat.

    (I would not usually point this out, but it is important because Spitz is trying to say her hand looked swollen….I think she just has a fat hand.)

    • butterflydreamer2


      From what I have been told, the hand that you don’t use is larger. I find that to be true as I am left handed, and the rings that I wear on my left hand, do not fit on my right.

      • yahtzeebutterfly

        Hey, this is true!

        Good point!

      • That is not correct – the dominant hand is usually larger, and ring finger sizes can be a difference of 1/2 to a full size larger on the dominant hand.

  12. I just updated the article to include WXYZ-TV’s video recapping today’s hearing.

    • yahtzeebutterfly

      I just listened to it.

      Just seeing and hearing those few clips from the trial really brought home what a vacuum we are in simply depending upon tweets.

      The nice part, though, is that reading is more peaceful than hearing all the tones of lawyer’s questions….aggressive, challenging forcefully, etc.

      I kind of like the peace.

      But, we sure are missing major parts of the trial.

      • yahtzeebutterfly

        Wouldn’t it have been great, if we lost the live-streaming during West’s endless and receptive questioning in gz trial?

        The reporter’s could have just tweeted “yada, yada, yada” every time West was on his feet.

        • yahtzeebutterfly

          Not “receptive” ….should be “repetitive”

        • Yahtzee,

          The reporter’s could have just tweeted “yada, yada, yada” every time West was on his feet.

          Oh — when he questioned Jeantel, the reporters could have tweeted “ditto” to show how he repeated the same questions over, and over, and over, and over, and …..

      • I like watching and hearing witnesses. Ultimately, it is the witnesses that the jury should be watching and listening to.

        There is only one prosecutor who I enjoyed watching and hearing during trial, and that was Juan Martinez in the Jodi Arias case. He is one of the best cross-examiners I’ve ever seen.

        • I love JaunMartinez! he’s a beast! if only ALL prosecutors would fight for the victims like the defense lawyers do for defendants!

          if only he’d been the one prosecuting Zimmerman… oh how many times I’ve thought of that. how many times I’ve fantasized about Zimmerman’s fat ass insisting on testifying of arrogance and thinking he could out smart Martinez like Jodi thought.

          watching Martinez before Zimmerman’s trial made it even worse watching the pathetic prosecutors in Zimmerman’s.

          and even in wafer’s trial, is it just my imagination or are the prosecutors more aggressive active and a little more ornery in wafer’s case? also seems the judge is participating w.her own questions and comments unlike the ‘no speaking objections’ rule that nelson insisted on?
          in some states I guess the judges can ask questions of witnesses too? and I loved the jury’s questions in jody’s trial. too bad it’s not like that in Michigan apparently.

          • Shannon

            watching Martinez before Zimmerman’s trial made it even worse watching the pathetic prosecutors in Zimmerman’s.

            Yes. Martinez made Travis real. Using forensic evidence, he showed the jury at closing what Travis did; what he must have thought; and what Jodi did to end his life.

            What I noticed in Trayvon’s killer’s trial, is that while the defense was either on direct or cross, Bernie, Guy and John were all busy doing things other than listening/watching. By O’Mara throwing ca-ca against the wall pre-trial, and Judge Nelson reserving some of it post-trial, the prosecution was working on two fronts. Then too, O’Mara filed two motions for dismissal that the prosecution had to prepare for during working hours.

            Like you, I wish that all states allowed jurors to ask questions of witnesses.

            • And the trial should be live streamed in most cases. and I certainly don’t believe jurors anonymity should override the public’s right to monitor our legal system. other ppl will be living w/the consequences of the outcome. if someone doesn’t want their identity known then they shouldn’t be on the jury.
              if you’re qualified to be on jury and make such important judgments then you should be able to stand by those judgments. don’t expect to run and hide and not be scrutinized by the ppl who’ve entrusted you to make reasonable logical decisions that effect the interests of the entire nation.

            • Shannon,
              For it to be a trial that started off allowing live-stream, something should have been done to continue that in spite of the camera-person’s mistake of capturing the face of a juror when showing the big screen in court. It was the placement of the screen that was the problem.

              WXYZ-TV in Detroit has reported daily recaps, with video of witnesses. So, video is apparently allowed even if from a room that reporters are in separate and apart from the courtroom.

  13. Sounds like an important trial. Thanks for sharing, hugs, Barbara

    • Hey Barbara! Yes, it is important. Last month, there was a trial in the State of Wisconsin where the homeowner laid in wait for two young folks to enter his house, and he shot and killed both, then tried claiming the Castle Doctrine. He was found guilty.

      In Wafer’s case, the facts are different, but his defense is also the Castle Doctrine. He claims that he feared someone was trying to break into his house. A witness for the prosecution testified there were no signs of an attempted break-in. Additionally, Renisha was intoxicated and had been in a serious car accident where a witness said she was bleeding. That does not sound like anyone capable of even thinking about breaking into someone’s house.

      Additionally, Wafer opened his front door and shot through the screen door.

      As in all of these cases, no matter how the prosecution and defense work, it comes down to the jury. Hopefully, the jury in Detroit, MI will understand the law that Wafer claims for defense because as we have seen, 2 juries in Florida admitted to not understanding Florida’s self-defense laws.

      • There are too many racists and bigots in America these days. Hugs, Barbara

        • Barbara,

          One of the most difficult things for me is to think that people judge others based on the color of their skin. I look for all types of excuses to say otherwise. Some commenting here have corrected me, and I’ve had to humbly apologize when what they said came to past.

          A case to watch is the popcorn case in Florida. Defendant and victim are both White. I’m anxious to see if that jury buys the defendant’s self-defense story.

          • Oh, yes this would be interesting. I will look for it online. I understand and had convinced myself that racism was declining. In truth, it is escalating and this I have realized since beginning to blog two and a half years ago. 😒

            • Barbara,
              It depends on geographic location and industry. What I mean by “industry” is employment and schools. When I lived in Chicago, it was pretty obvious that some of its suburbs did not want minorities moving in. Heck, the Italians in Cicero didn’t want the Polish moving in.

              Where I live now, institutionalized racism is so rooted that there is a spirit of oppression, and its citizens say, “That’s the way it is.” The school district was sued because of segregation — not in 1960, 1970, 1980, but in the late 1990’s. The case was not closed until around 2003. The federal magistrate judge said that the school district turned discrimination into an “art form.”

            • Wow, that is so sad. I never thought I would hear the words “art form” and feel repulsion. We can’t give up though. Hugs, Barbara

            • Barbara, you are absolutely right — we cannot give up. Caterpillars transforming into butterflies don’t know the words “give up.” 🙂

            • Well said my friend. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Barbara

  14. yahtzeebutterfly

    “I understand and had convinced myself that racism was declining. In truth, it is escalating and this I have realized since beginning to blog two and a half years ago.”

    Yes, with the election of a Black president, the public thought and the media asserted that our country was post racial, post racism. The media stressed this, ignoring the racist signs carried at rallies protesting the election by angry racists.

    (Barbara, I posted here right after your comment in order to save this location so that I can come back later this afternoon when I have more time in order to quote some information from Tim Wise’s “White Like Me” book and film.)

    • yahtzeebutterfly

      Tim Wise says that after the election of Barack Obama pundits (Whites) thought everything was fine when it comes to racism in America and that it is time to move on to other things. Tim Wise says that “in reality the claim that we have gotten past racism and entered a post racial society really is NOTHING NEW.”

      Even in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement, he says, when activists were attempting to tear down Jim Crow and gain voting rights, to have Brown v. Board of Education implemented in local schools, etc., many many Whites believed everything was fine and that there was equality and that there were no problems.

      Tim Wise says that “in 1963 when pollsters from Gallup went door to door and asked white Americans if they thought whites and racial minorities were treated equally in matters of housing, education, and employment, 66% of whites said ‘yes.’ Also in a 1962 Gallup Poll, 83% of whites answered ‘yes’ to the question ‘Do you think negro children have as good a chance as white children to get a good education?’ ”

      Tim Wise points out that today:

      The fact is that racial inequality still exists and racial bias still affects the way that we view others.

      “Even with a black president…
      the median wealth of white families is 20 times greater than the median wealth of black families and 18 times greater than the wealth of Latino families.”

      “Even with a black president…
      70% of students of color attend schools where the majority of students are black and brown.
      And these schools are 10 times more likely than majority white schools to have high levels of student poverty.”

      “Even with a black president…
      College-educated African Americans are nearly twice as likely as college-educated whites to be unemployed. College-educated Latinos are 50% more likely than college-educated whites to be unemployed.”

      “And studies have found that white job applicants who claim to have criminal records are more likely to be called back for interviews than black applicants WITHOUT criminal records.”

      • yahtzeebutterfly

        Hat tip to Ametia for this video:

        Cicely Tyson:

        I never dreamed in 2014 we would still be running against racism. After the debts that were paid with lives to assure us or insure us of recognition just as human beings

        When we were going through the whole Civil Rights, I though, well our children won’t have to go through this.

        But our children are being shot down for no reason whatsoever and stopped and frisked simply because of the color of their skin.

        Those kinds of things are what makes me determined, through my work, to change it.

  15. crustyolemothman

    I’m going to post a link to a short u tube video that should serve to dispel any possible truth that would be thought to be in the defense fire arm witness statement of the shot being at less than one foot. Watch this and be honest, do you think for even a moment the one foot figure is realistic?

    • A watermelon is not a good choice for an example. If anything, one would use a pig…..their skin is closer to that of a human. But regardless, a shotgun blast at a close range is devastating.

      • crustyolemothman

        Ok, you are correct, time to go back to u tube and enter the search term “shotgun blast hits pig”… only problem is there will probably be none because George Zimmerman has yet to be shot with his own shotgun…. 😉

        Now on a serious note, while I knew a watermelon due it nature was not a perfect example, it does as you agree, indicate just how devastating that the force of the shotgun blast would have been at that close of range, as stated by the alleged expert witness for the defense..

        • MurphysSpork

          There are plenty of videos which use gelatin for various reasons. Not so gruesome, and the gelatin also allows us to see the spread of pellets, as well at times stippling, and even soot and burns.
          For an example a quick look up produced this:

          This is with birdshot (Wafer used buckshot)

          This test was done by a guy but it shows even at 7 yards (21 ft) he was able to identify where all 21 pellets of 4 buckshot are. He conducted this test with a shotgun similar to Wafer´s excluding the pistol grip. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_bcESAdBZxAI/TII2fP_9EoI/AAAAAAAAB68/58Vafvrj9g0/s1600/Mossberg_Maverick_Review_32.JPG

          It may interest you to do some research on shotgun wadding. I will warn you to be careful if you dislike graphic images on that research. But, it may help you confirm your suspicions that defense testimony is a bit quacky.

          You may also be interested to watch someone fire a Mossberg. I think I am with you on your line of thinking and where you are going.

          Thus far mathmatically and forensically itself disproves the two foot or less defense theory. Her injury, missing stippling, missing gun burns, and missing pellets tell us the shot had distance to allow pellet spread. Some professionals say this kind of evidence is a Min. 2 ft. –Max 8 ft. shot.

          He either opened the door and stepped back. Which would mean he opened his interior door all the way to fit the length of the gun.

          Or the screen was in place and he jammed the gun through the screen making it fall in the process of him removing the barrel…this would also explain why McBride was injured on that side and was found aside of the door.

          For where McBride was found on the porch leads me to believe she may have been looking at the door but moving away from the door prior to being shot. Also explains why her shoe was ripped.

  16. butterflydreamer2

    ” Wafer’s case, the facts are different, but his defense is also the Castle Doctrine. He claims that he feared someone was trying to break into his house.”

    Really? I find it rather odd that someone attempting to break into someone’s house is going to come to the front door and knock first.

    I can’t come to any understanding that justifies someone in fear for their life, would open a door and shoot someone in the face without considering who is there. It could have been a Mom, a neighbor, one of your kids, and officer, ect.

    • Dreamer,

      Really? I find it rather odd that someone attempting to break into someone’s house is going to come to the front door and knock first

      If they don’t know whether someone’s home, they will, but not late at night. They want the door answered during daylight and they want to see what is inside. In general, people who want to rob houses don’t go to houses without first knowing what is inside. They don’t want to come out empty handed.

      You’re thinking logically, which Wafer and his attorneys are not. Along with your excellent points, no person thinking there is more than one person at their house wanting to break-in, would shoot the person at the door then walk outside unless they intended to also shoot the “shadows” they thought they saw.

  17. yahtzeebutterfly

    “Recap of Day 6: Defense gets turn in porch shooting trial”


    Another recap can be found here:

    ” Detroit Front Porch Shooting Case: What you need to know heading into Week 3″


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