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Criminal Justice & Legal System

State appeals court: Dearborn Heights porch shooter entitled to new sentencing

wafer_mug.jpg
Dearborn Heights Police

The Michigan Court of Appeals says a suburban Detroit man convicted of murder in 2014 deserves a new sentence.

Dearborn Heights homeowner Theodore Wafer was convicted of killing Renisha McBride, 19, on his front porch in December 2013, after she banged on his door in the middle of the night.

Wafer insists he acted in self-defense, and appealed on a number of grounds.

The Michigan Court of Appeals upheld Wafer’s convictions for both murder and manslaughter. But it also found the trial judge made an error when sentencing Wafer.

Judge Dana Hathaway said she “cannot go below sentencing guidelines” when she gave Wafer 15-30 years in prison.

But the appeals court says that’s not true. The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled judges must consider the sentencing guidelines, but are not bound by them.

Wafer’s case goes back to the lower court for re-sentencing, unless he objects.

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