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Theodore Wafer, 55, of Dearborn Heights stands up after day one of his trial in the Wayne County Circuit Court in Detroit on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. Wafer is charged with second -degree murder and manslaughter for the killing of Renisha McBride, a 19-year-old Detroiter who he shot through his screen door in the early morning of Nov. 2, 2013 on Wafer's front porch. / Regina H. Boone, Detroit Free Press

DETROIT -- Theodore Wafer's defense attorney questioned the Dearborn Heights officer in charge of Renisha McBride's death investigation, hammering away at what was done, and not done, during the investigation.

Defense attorney Cheryl Carpenter asked Dearborn Heights police Detective Sgt. Stephen Gurka, "Do you think more could have been done in this investigation?"

"Based on the circumstances, no," he replied as cross examination in Wafer's trial started Wednesday.

Wafer, 55, faces second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in connection with the fatal shooting of McBride at about 4:40 a.m. Nov. 2. Authorities said Wafer shot through a locked screen door at his home. His defense attorney said he shot in self-defense.

Wafer told police, moments after the shooting, that he "didn't know there was a round" in his gun, according to audio played in court last week.

During testimony Wednesday, Gurka said he didn't think fingerprints on the doors were relevant, adding if McBride's fingerprints were there, it's because she was knocking and if they're not there, it doesn't mean that she wasn't at the scene.

Carpenter also questioned him about a possible muddy footprint on Wafer's air conditioning unit, which Gurka said "maybe" was a footprint and he didn't know where it came from.

"I don't know when that footprint was placed there," he said. "Maybe Mr. Wafer climbed on his air conditioner to look at his gutters."

"Or maybe there was a second person trying to gain entry in the back of the house," she countered, asking him if he ever thought of that.

"Then that's the person Mr. Wafer should have shot," Gurka responded.

He said he doesn't have any other information that there were other people were outside Wafer's house.

Carpenter proceeded to ask about how evidence was collected and showed jurors, made up of seven men and seven women, a picture of a vigil held at Wafer's house for McBride.

The vigil, with people all over the lawn, was done before police processed fingerprints on the door, Gurka acknowledged, again saying he was really interested in the fingerprints but wanted to take measurements of the storm door.

Carpenter asked why a $100 bill that was found on McBride early that morning by somebody on Gurka's team wasn't seized.

"I didn't know about the $100 bill for two days," he said.

According to previous testimony, police recovered $56 from McBride. McBride's mother was recalled to the stand and testified she gave McBride the $100 and it was returned to her by the medical examiner's office.

Gurka also said he didn't know about Amber Jenkins, McBride's friend, who has testified she was drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana with McBride hours before McBride hit a parked car about a half-mile from Wafer's house.

Jenkins was interviewed by an investigator with the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office in the parking lot of a Coney Island, according to previous testimony.

Dr. Kilak Kesha performed the autopsy on McBride and said it appeared Kesha testified that it appears the distance between the end of the barrel and the decedent was less than three feet.

The level of alcohol in McBride's system was 0.218, he said.

He also said that, at the time of the car accident and had she not had anything else to drink, McBride's blood alcohol at the time of her car accident would have been approximately 0.28 to 0.29.

Kesha described McBride's the gunshot wound to the face as "catastrophic" and ruled she died from a gunshot wound to the head.

The prosecution has rested their case.



Copyright 2014USAToday

Read the original story: Defense in porch shooting trial grills cop

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