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Theodore Wafer sits in the court room during his arraignment in Detroit, Michigan in this file photo taken Jan. 15, 2014. (Rebecca Cook/Reuters)
Theodore Wafer sits in the court room during his arraignment in Detroit, Michigan in this file photo taken Jan. 15, 2014. (Rebecca Cook/Reuters)

White Detroit man guilty in shooting of black teenager on his porch Add to ...

A jury convicted a U.S. man of second-degree murder and manslaughter on Thursday after he shot a drunk, unarmed black woman in the face on his porch last year. It rejected his claim that he was afraid for his life and had acted in self-defence.

The case once again raised national issues of race and the use of guns in self-defence.

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Theodore Wafer shot Renisha McBride through a screen door on Nov. 2, hours after she crashed into a parked car near his house. No one knows why she ended up at the home, pounding at his door, although prosecutors speculated that the 19-year-old may have been seeking help.

“She just wanted to go home,” prosecutor Patrick Muscat said during closing arguments, holding the shotgun Wafer used to kill McBride. “She ended up in the morgue with bullets in her head and in her brain because the defendant picked up this shotgun, released this safety, raised it at her, pulled the trigger and blew her face off.”

Wafer, 55, could face up to life in prison with the possibility of parole, but it is likely his sentence will be much shorter.

Wafer, who lives alone, said he was woken out of sleep around 4:30 a.m. by pounding at his front and side doors. He testified that the noises were “unbelievable.”

“I wasn’t going to cower in my house,” Wafer said.

He said he thought there could have been more than one person outside. Wafer said he pulled the trigger “to defend myself. It was them or me.”

“He armed himself. He was getting attacked,” defence lawyer Cheryl Carpenter told jurors. “Put yourselves in his shoes at 4:30 in the morning.”

But prosecutors said Wafer could have stayed safely in his locked home and called police instead of confronting McBride.

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