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Renisha McBride weed and cash pics won’t be allowed in court

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By Andrew Scot Bolsinger

The judge in the second-degree murder trial of a Detriot-area man ruled that jurors will not be allowed to see photos the victim took herself with a gun, smoking marijuana and cash.

Theodore Wafer’s attorneys want to show the photos from Renisha McBride’s cellphone to demonstrate that she had an aggressive side, according to a story in the Daily Mail.

But Wayne County Judge Dana Hathaway said there could be a “million reasons” why the 19-year-old posed that way.

“There is nothing in the photographs that establishes a reputation for violent or aggressive behavior,” Hathaway said.

Wafer, 55, of Dearborn Heights claims he shot McBride in self-defense in response to pounding at his door last November. 

The trial is set for July 21.

In court filings and arguments, Wafer’s attorneys said the man lives alone in a neighborhood on the edge of Detroit and was afraid of what he was hearing about 4.30 a.m.

Attorney Cheryl Carpenter also failed to convince the judge to allow the defense to use McBride’s text messages to no avail.

Carpenter said questioning the victim’s character is difficult but necessary.

“We have to do this,” she said

“The prosecutor argued she was meek and mild. … She was violent. She was aggressive. She was pounding,” Carpenter said.

Wafer shot McBride in the face. More than three hours earlier, she crashed her car about a half-mile away in Detroit but walked away before an ambulance arrived. It’s not known what she did between the crash and the shooting. She wasn’t armed, according to published reports.

Her family believes McBride probably was seeking help at Wafer’s house, but the defense says there’s no evidence.

McBride’s aunt, Bernita Spinks, left court at one point because she didn’t like Carpenter’s argument.

“She wasn’t a violent person. She wouldn’t harm a fly,” Spinks said in an interview outside court.

Andrew Scot Bolsinger won more than two dozen press awards during his journalism career. He is a freelance writer, author and operates, which is focused on prison reform. He can reached at and can be followed @CriminalUniv on Twitter.