'Porch Shooter' Trial Verdict

Jury Finds Theodore Wafer guilty of murder in Renisha McBride's death.
13:25 | 08/08/14

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Transcript for 'Porch Shooter' Trial Verdict
Understanding reached a verdict. Okay could you please come as close to that microphone as possible and read your verdict -- It was that's perfect. We history by. Weaver has filed. How long. We're hearing that. -- Tony Blair -- -- The -- -- just outside Detroit in Wayne county guilty on all counts. The man who shot and killed an unarmed teenager on his -- last fall. He claimed it was in self defense today the jury deciding otherwise I'm Michelle Franzen and New York with an ABC news digital developing story. Those charges include second degree murder the deliberations lasted for about eight hours. For more on this case I want to bring an ABC news chief legal affairs anchor Dan Abrams Dan first of all this is the first full day of deliberations was as surprising that the jury came back with a verdict and how they decide. Split it it surprises me that it was this quick only. In the sense that I thought there might be some dispute between second degree murder and manslaughter. The definitions are pretty similar under Michigan law. I thought that there there could be a juror or two who might have thought that -- based on the circumstances. May be -- conviction here should be for voluntary manslaughter. Rather -- second degree murder so the fact that they came back with a unanimous verdict. Of guilty didn't surprise me. -- fact that they came back with a unanimous guilty verdict for second degree murder in eight hours was a little bit. A little bit surprising but this was a tough case. For the defendant based on these facts from the beginning. Take this back to November of last year when that shooting occurred what happened on the early morning. Of the defendant -- first porch. Well you know there's not that much dispute as to the facts in this case which is. That the victim here. He was in some sort of accident. Had likely. Been out that night. And we don't know exactly what happened from the time her car either crashed -- ended up on the side of the road. And the time she ended up on his porch which ends up on his -- sometime after 4:30 in the morning. And is knocking on the doors. Now the defense was hoping that the jurors might think that she was literally trying to get into the house whether she was doing it just because she needed help -- not. That could have been helpful to the defense it seems that jurors didn't believe that that in fact she was knocking on the doors he goes in gets his gun. Com and rather than trying to see who's out there what happened etc. that he literally shoots through his door and kills her. So the defense was hoping that the jurors would look at distance and put themselves in his position to say. On that my home I'm sleeping someone starts pounding on my doors I get my gun. And -- the next thing I know. I shot the weapon and she's dead the jurors did not do that it seems it seems more likely they put herself put themselves in her position. Saying you know what was she was knocking on the door and when you knock on someone's porch door -- -- shouldn't expect to get shot and kilt. And Dan stay with me here but for more on the verdict I want to bring in ABC's Brian Smith but was inside the courthouse when that verdict is read. Ryan are many stunned by this verdict on what is the re -- reaction there. Well the reaction in the courtroom was I would say -- on both sides I think you saw the defendant. Looking dejected basically staring straight for but the family rejoicing in that courtroom I think that a lot of people here. Aren't really all that surprised because when the defendant took the stand he talked about being Maggie talked about having (%expletive) and vinegar. In in the way he was feeling -- the very same thing the family said in a press conference that they didn't have that for him but it. For it seems like for this jury it showed him that that he anger and that might have clouded his judgment when he fired off that gun and that. Might create more -- -- second degree murder concept as well as opposed to something like self defense where's Dan was saying. Very very different situation there are subtle but there's a lot of surprise. But at this point he's facing life in prison. And of course our nation -- bride's family also inside that courthouse and justice few moments ago. They spoke about the verdict let's take a listen. He didn't even know -- she was a beautiful young lady you know shifting to -- -- floor. Yes. What teenagers -- one of us here have never took a drink it made a mistake as a treatment we have. But that without that cost her life because -- make -- mistake. And that is -- not. -- -- -- never again. There was there was no clues but I think. Being -- mr. -- -- -- And Terry Anderson. And then they did a great job improving the case you know they have the facts. They have that expert they have to witnesses and they did. Did and they did it whale. And the family of course praising the prosecution for that Ryan they clearly see this as a just verdict must have been on an emotional. Journey for them. Very emotional they talked about the last nine months about how they haven't spoken to the media. Because they wanted this case tried in the courtroom so this was really their moment to let it all go and and -- -- bride's mother very emotional not only after the verdict. But even in here talking to the media talking about how she wanted justice and how this man basically pre judge the situation -- could've called 911 was part of her point. But instead he chose to fire first. So that created for him a situation where the jury can convict him of second degree murder. And at this point for them it's about healing it's about closure it's about now starting the process of moving forward. And I want to ask both of you this question for your Ryan being there. And for the legal expertise back here with legal experts this case was compared a lot to the -- -- on Martin George Zimmermann case. -- what was a sense of of how this was being compared -- -- even the family here didn't want to make that comparison and they are two very different cases the trip on Martin case. Is a stand your ground case two people meeting on the street one person. Taking action against the other and they're -- controversy about what happened between the two of them. And whether or not George Zimmerman had a right to stand his ground in that instance. This deals with the castle doctrine someone's home being their castle. And somebody's trying to enter that home. Do you have the right to defend yourself if you think deadly force is coming at you can respond with deadly force. Maybe the jury in this case didn't see her is trying to attack mr. Wafer and didn't see mr. wafers reaction of thinking that she was trying to kill him. Was appropriate in the way he responded so I think there's a difference between the two cases but a lot of people tended to connect them because of the racial elements in both cases. And Dan what -- our legal experts. Also say about this case polite and -- exactly right that the the really the only connection in my view is the aspect of race and that fact that the the victim of the shooting. In both cases was African American in both cases the shooter was white. Apart from that I don't think -- there's almost any comparison you can say that there were some self defense claim in both instances but. In the Zimmermann case it -- this case with easier. For prosecutors in the Zimmermann case there's just no question about it. In the Zimmermann case the fact that George Zimmerman head injuries on the back of his head. And it seemed clear there was a fight. What it whatever you think of that case makes it eight totally different kind of case then this one which is no one is alleging. That district pride had a weapon no -- is alleging that she was actually -- -- rat. The only question was was reasonable for him to a perceived her as a threat. -- interesting sort of legal question but it's a totally different question. Then the one in the George -- so why do you think the self defense claim did not come across as credible for jurors. Well again because -- again let's let's put Zimmerman aside for a moment and just say that that in this case. But he's almost not claiming self defense and to some degree he's arguing that it was a mistake. He didn't mean to fire the weapon it seemed that once he took the stand and he was in essence claiming it was self defense but. But remember even now he would concede. That it was a mistake that he's sorry they shot George Zimmerman what was saying he wasn't sorry -- had to do it. So in this case it was always an uphill battle for the defendant because. There really was no reason she should have been shot and there was no legitimate question -- not suggesting in the Zimmermann case there was but I'm saying that it in this case there wasn't even an argument. About that and as a result he had an uphill battle -- the beginning. To convince these jurors that it was reasonable. And it was necessary. For him to use. That kind of force in this case so. You know I don't think anyone as I said at the -- anyone -- surprise that there was a conviction. The only question in my mind was is it going to be manslaughter is it going to be second degree murder might there be a hung jury. Those were the sorts of questions I was wondering but I would've been stunt. If there'd been an an outright acquittal in this case. And Ryan you mention the castle doctrine there is it is the fact that he that the defendant shot. Her through the screen door and that he opened the door -- that that hurt his defense. That was a big factor because in one sense you've got a protective barrier. Right there and you don't have to go outside if -- in fear for your life that's part of it. The other part of -- is -- jurors might have seen that as a locked door so you're saying someone is coming into your home. To try to kill you and therefore you have to kill them first before they get you. But that door is that barrier that makes it hard to do that -- brought up a great point about people being people not being surprised. Recently bride's mother was just in here and saying she wasn't surprised at -- That there was a conviction here I want convinced that despite the things that were being said about her daughter that she was drunk that night. That she was pounding on the door of the house was shaking was part of what he said. They wouldn't believe that instead they wouldn't seat -- -- pricing that war is a distraction. But instead see this situation of a locked door. Somebody pounding on it and you can call the police or you can stay out of harm's way as opposed to going outside inviting it and then. Shooting and saying I thought my life was in -- and this would have been a fundamentally. Different case legally. If they could have demonstrated she was breaking and entering into that house. It if if somehow the defense could have shown that she was breaking into that house. The entire self defense law changes and becomes much more favorable to him. And -- becomes a presumption in his favor. But there wasn't any evidence any day -- -- clearly the jurors didn't believe there was any real evidence. That she was breaking into the house and even the defense didn't seem to. Quite be arguing that this is a case of breaking and entering but if that had been the case of this have been a different kind of case. It would have been viewed through -- a completely different legal prism. So Ryan give us an idea about Theodore -- did evidently hit -- go ahead go ahead. -- I wanted to point Dan made a great point there because even the family here the press conference. Made the point that tape had he not shot then maybe they would have had to deal with her in jail and that would -- been -- they could've handled. But he shot first and that's why we're here today. And Ryan stay with me on this and now the theater Wafer has been found guilty on all counts I understand he's been remanded by the judge when. Might he be sentenced and what could that -- -- So he'll be sentenced at about two weeks and he's looking at a maximum of life in prison but he's been. Found guilty of three different charges one of those charges is a firearms charges and there's -- chance that he might be serving a sentence on that first. And then serving a sentence on the other charges like second degree murder this is all -- come down to what the judge wants to do. And so we're gonna have to wait and see what happens there but his technical maximum penalty would be life in prison. Ryan Smith. And Dan Abrams thank you both very much for joining us and giving us -- perspective on this case. -- keep up with the story in real time by downloading the ABC news -- and starring this story for exclusive updates on the go. For now I'm Michelle Franzen in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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