Court rules man can seek new hearing in porch shooting

DEARBORN HEIGHTS (AP) — The Michigan Court of Appeals says a man who fatally shot an unarmed woman on his porch in suburban Detroit can seek a new sentencing hearing.

The court upheld Theodore Wafer’s murder and manslaughter convictions in the death of 19-year-old Renisha McBride. He was sentenced to at least 15 years in prison — the minimum under guidelines — plus two years for a gun crime.

But Michigan’s sentencing rules have changed since Wafer’s 2014 conviction and the guidelines are no longer mandatory.

The appeals court ruled last week Wafer can ask the trial judge for a new hearing though it’s possible the sentence won’t change.

Wafer shot McBride through a door screen. He said he was fearful after being awakened by pounding. A jury rejected his self-defense claim.