Wafer: Court denies defense motion to present McBride’s text messages

Saturday, June 28, 2013

Good morning:

Wayne County Circuit Judge Dana Hathaway yesterday denied the defense motion seeking the court’s permission to inform the jury about the content of the text messages on Renisha McBride’s cell phone. She denied the motion because their content does not show that she was an aggressive person.

I agree with her decision.

Judge Hathaway also denied the defense motion to introduce a chart into evidence that contains information about police responses to the Dearborn Heights neighborhood during 2013. The defense wanted to inform the jury about those responses to support its argument that Wafer feared death or serious bodily injury because the neighborhood had become more violent.

Unfortunately for the defense, the reasonable response to increased concern about personal safety would have been to remain behind the locked front door and call 911.

Judge Hathaway is going to permit the defense expert, former medical examiner Dr. Werner Spitz, to present expert opinion evidence regarding the general effect of fear on a decision to fire a weapon.

I respectfully disagree with this decision because the general effect of fear on a decision to shoot a gun is beyond the scope of a forensic pathologist’s expertise. Their area of expertise is determining cause of death, not mental processes.

A psychiatrist would be more qualified to address that issue.

Judge Hathaway is not going to permit the defense expert to express an opinion regarding whether Wafer acted reasonably.

Judge Hathaway has not ruled on the defense motion to introduce the photos stored in McBride’s phone. One photo purportedly shows a handgun of some sort. I said before the hearing, the photos should be excluded because they do not indicate that McBride was an aggressive person with a violent disposition.

As the NRA reminds us multiple times every week, possession of a gun does not mean that the person who possesses the gun has a violent disposition.

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17 Responses to Wafer: Court denies defense motion to present McBride’s text messages

  1. crazy1946 says:

    Professor, Do you have any input or opinion that you wish to share with us? You don’t seem to spend much time here with us on your blog recently. I hope your health is not an issue…

  2. MKX says:

    If Wafer was afraid, he never would have opened the inner door.

    A person truly in fear for their life will, if they have a gun, take cover and wait for the “suspect’, “prey” or “enemy” to come to their line of fire.

  3. kllypyn says:

    I would question his mental state if he’s always afraid everytime someone knocks on his door. Then there the fact he aimed and fired that through a closed and locked screen door at her face. why no warning before shooting?why not aim at her leg? Anyone who first reaction is to grab a gun when hearing a knock on his door has no business owning a gun.

    • crazy1946 says:

      kllypyn, While the emotions of fear and anger are similar in many ways, I would suggest that TW fired not out of fear, but instead out of anger. Had he been fearful, would he have first gone down the hall way and gotten the shotgun, then loaded the shotgun, before going to the door? No fear would have made him first call 911 before doing anything else. Anger was the emotion he felt not fear… The only fear that I have seen was the fear of losing his own liberty that he exhibited while seated in the back seat of the police car… Now that was fear! If you doubt what I say listen to the call he made to 911 after he murdered this young woman, no fear there, actually very little emotion in his words, especially no fear nor did he sound remorseful for having murdered Mz. McBride…

  4. lee says:

    nbc won its case

  5. crazy1946 says:

    Does TW’s attorney’s words make sense when she said he lived in fear because of increased crime in the area? Think for a moment, if he was so fearful why did he not have his gun at the ready for use immediately? He had to go down the hall get the weapon, note he not only had to get the shot gun, he had to load it, and then he went to the door… IMO when he went to get the weapon, he was angry because someone was making noise on his porch and he was going to teach them to do that… The emotion of fear and anger are similar in causing one to act irrationally, and so, instead of acting like a reasonable person and calling the police to do their job, he took care of the problem himself. His emotional actions in the back seat of the police care were not out of concern that he had killed someone, but instead were out of concern that he was going to lose his freedom for what he had done… Perhaps that is the fear that his attorney was talking about, fear of punishment for his actions…

    • Malisha says:

      That’s the only kind of fear these gunlove bullies have: fear for their own selves, fear that they won’t be able to control the whole world and somebody else’s law will be used against THEM, rather than their having the freedom to make their own laws and enforce them in their own little two-year-old-temper-tantrum world.

      • MKX says:

        Authoritarian bullies have a fixation on being better than other groups because they follow the rules and laws that they will tell you ad nauseam the other group break due to that groups lack of morals or discipline.

        And when – because they are flawed like all humans are – they break a law or rule, they use what they perceive as their position in the hierarchy to justify what they did.

        They will also fawn like little lickspittles on those they perceive as above them in the hierarchy.

        In short, they suck.

  6. Joe Butera says:

    I lived at Ford Road and West Outer Drive for years and it was a great safe neighborhood. In fact – it is a speed trap so Dearborn Height Police are always in the area. It is really stretching it claiming that you have to sleep with your shotgun to live there. The police arrived at the shooting in around 5 minutes.

  7. Malisha says:

    Those gunlove types also need diapers because they’re always peeing their pants in fear that unless they shoot (to kill) first, someone’s gonna hurt them. Bop their poor little heads or play loud music and shoot them with a stick or something. A pack of cowards using murder and tough talk to cover for their pissy-pants paranoias.

    • MKX says:

      A big irony is that, arguably, one of their heroes is Teddy Roosevelt, who was famous for saying:

      “speak softly and carry a big stick”

      Their motto, on the other hand, appears to be:

      “talk loudly and act like you have a little dick”

  8. Hopefully this is the end of the defense’s twisted plan to victimize the victim.

    Speaking of NRA and the ammosexuals:

  9. racerrodig says:

    “As the NRA reminds us multiple times every week, possession of a gun does not mean that the person who possesses the gun has a violent disposition.”

    Yep…..they sure do. They also tell us that everyone should be armed so if McBride was armed she’d be in that violent criminal category, er, she could have defended herself, er…..that is, she wouldn’t be have a violent disposition, she’d just want to defend herself against violent people with guns…….right ??

    Shit………………I wish they’d make up their minds.

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