Prosecution rests in fatal Michigan porch shooting case

DETROIT Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:48pm EDT

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DETROIT (Reuters) - Prosecutors rested on Wednesday after presenting evidence they said proved a white suburban Detroit home owner charged with second degree murder acted with malice and forethought when he shot a black teenager dead on his porch.

Theodore Wafer, 55, has been charged with second degree murder for firing a fatal shotgun blast at Renisha McBride, 19, at his Dearborn Heights home after she knocked on the door seeking help one morning last November. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.

Wafer told police after the shooting that he believed McBride was breaking into his home and his shotgun went off accidentally, blasting through his screen door.

Wayne County Assistant Medical Examiner Kilak Kesha, who conducted an autopsy on McBride, told a court that she was shot at a range of less than 3 feet (1 meter).

McBride, who was in a car crash before knocking on Wafer's door, had a blood-alcohol content at the time of her death of 0.22, more than three times the state's legal limit for driving, Kesha said.

Kesha surmised she could have been "staggering, slurring speech, disoriented and confused," adding there were traces of marijuana in her system.

Testimony began last week in the racially charged case, which has sparked protests in Dearborn Heights and comparisons to the 2012 shooting death of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

McBride's mother, Monica McBride, also briefly took the stand to testify about a $100 bill found on her daughter's body.

Police officer officers were heard on an audio recording played in court discussing the cash, saying McBride could have been a prostitute. Monica McBride said in court on Wednesday that she gave her daughter the money after visiting her bank.

Defense attorneys also raised questions of police detectives asking why they did not investigate what might have been a footprint found on top of an air conditioning unit outside Wafer's house.

Closing arguments are likely to be delivered on Monday, court sources said.

(Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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