Wafer / McBride Trial Continues
On Monday morning the front porch murder trial of Theodore Wafer resumed with Michigan State Police Detective Lt. David Balash retaking the stand for the defense. Balash, who is a gun and crime scene expert, testified that it was without a doubt that Wafer’s gun had fired the bullet from 2 feet away that killed Renisha McBride.
But when it came to his opinion of the way that the Dearborn Heights Police Department handled the evidence collection, he wasn’t quite so positive. Crime scene protocol requires that officers protect evidence from the elements with tarps, take 360 degree photos of the scene, and always work from the outside toward the center.
In his testimony, Balash called it “absolutely incredible” that detectives hadn’t collected the front door screen through which McBride was shot until 9 days later, and said it was also odd that no one had dusted for fingerprints. “You have to keep an open mind at all times.” Balash told the jury, ” I think they became narrowly focused very early.”
On Tuesday, which marked the 8th day of testimony in a trial that the judge anticipated would not take longer than 10 days, Wafer took the stand and the prosecution attempted to tear a hole in the bottom of his theory of self-defense.
Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Athina Siringas returned to the question of whether or not the shooting had been an accident or not, over and over again during her cross-examination of Wafer. Although his attorney has claimed that his actions were driven by self-defense, Wafer told the court that he had forgotten that the gun was loaded and that he had only intended to brandish the gun and frighten away the potential invaders.
Wafer explained that he had never been so frightened in all his life, and had turned off the lights and TV so as not to give away his position in the house to the intruders. But then he had decided not to hide, or become a victim. He psyched himself up, and by the time he opened the door, he was “full of piss and vinegar.”
He also admitted to the court that he should have called 911 first, but couldn’t find his phone, although he had looked briefly for it. A few minutes after the shooting, Wafer found the phone in the pocket of his pants and called the police to report what had happened. “I should have called. It was getting louder. I thought at any time somebody was coming through the door or a window. It was getting violent.”
According to Wafer’s attorney, the trial is expected to conclude with closing arguments on Thursday.