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Homeowner found guilty in porch-shooting trial

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The man shot a teenage girl who walked onto his porch after being in a car accident. (Source: CNN) The man shot a teenage girl who walked onto his porch after being in a car accident. (Source: CNN)

DETROIT (CNN) - A jury convicted the homeowner who fatally shot an unarmed teen on his porch of second-degree murder on Thursday.

Renisha McBride was drunk when she knocked on Theodore Wafer's door after crashing her car.  

"Shoot first and ask questions later, right?" Prosecutor Athina Siringas asked.

"It was a threat, the threat that was coming in my house - yes!" Theodore Wafer said.

Prosecutors said 19-year-old McBride wandered off drunk and confused after a car crash one early morning last fall. She arrived at Wafer's door, said the state, looking for help.

"Yet she ended up at the morgue, with bullets in her head and in her brain," prosecutor Patrick Muscat said.

Taking the stand in his own defense, Wafer said he thought intruders were trying to break in.

"This was violent banging; this was unbelievable,” Wafer said. “I've never heard anything like this."

He says he fired his shotgun in self-defense. However, he told police only hours after the shooting he thought the gun was unloaded and it went off accidentally.

"Your whole story until you got here and testified in this trial was that this was an accident, right?" Siringas said.

"That's what came out first,” Wafer said.

To Siringas, the statements don't add up.

"You either shot on purpose because you were in fear, or the gun went off accidentally. Which one is it?" she said.

"I shot in fear," he said.

"So that means you shot on purpose?" she responded.

"Yes," he said.

In her closing argument Wednesday, defense attorney Cheryl Carpenter told jurors it's irrelevant exactly what happened that night.

"He did not know it was a 19-year-old who got in a car crash at 1 a.m.," she said. The only thing that matters, said Carpenter, is the fear in the mind of Wafer.

"He didn't know that,” she said. “What he knew is that somebody was trying to get in and it's not for a good reason - it's to hurt me!"

The jury deliberated for less than nine hours before returning the verdict. Wafer faces life in prison when he is sentenced on Aug. 21.

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