DETROIT (Reuters) - Prosecutors are seeking a minimum of 17 years in prison for a white homeowner in a Detroit suburb convicted of murdering a black teenager after shooting her on his front porch last November, a source told Reuters on Thursday.
Theodore Wafer, 55, of Dearborn Heights, Michigan, was convicted on Aug. 7 of second-degree murder, manslaughter and felony firearms charges in the death of 19-year-old Renisha McBride. He will be sentenced on Wednesday.
Wayne County prosecutors are seeking 15 to 25 years in prison for the second-degree murder charge and two years for the felony firearms charge, said a person familiar with the case, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case. It was not clear whether they would seek a prison sentence for the manslaughter conviction.
The case has sparked controversy in the Detroit area, which has long been troubled by racial tensions.
McBride was intoxicated and had been involved in a car crash earlier that night when she knocked on Wafer’s door on a rainy November morning. Wafer shot the teenager with a 12-gauge shotgun through a locked screen door.
During the trial, Wafer testified that he intentionally pulled the trigger when he thought a burglary was in progress. He earlier told police the shooting was an accident.
Last week, the McBride family filed a wrongful death civil lawsuit against Wafer in Wayne County Circuit Court. They are seeking $10 million in damages.
Editing by Fiona Ortiz and Jonathan Oatis