Judge Chokes Back Tears in Detroit Porch Shooting Sentencing

Theodore Wafer’s sentencing in the fatal shooting of a teenager on his porch grew so emotional, even the judge was holding back tears. INSIDE EDITION has the details.

A judge choked up as she sentenced a homeowner to 17 years in prison for shooting a teenager dead on his porch.

Judge Dana Hathaway said, “I do not believe that you're a cold-blooded murderer or this case has anything to do with race or that you're some sort of monster.”

But Judge Hathaway had strong words for 55-year-old Theodore Wafer in a Detroit courtroom Wednesday.    

She said, "I do believe that you acted out of some fear, but mainly in panic, and unjustifed fear is never an excuse for taking someone's life."

Wafer was convicted in the racially-charged case last month. He killed 19-year-old Renisha McBride with a shotgun blast to the face and then called 911.

In the 911 call he said, “I just shot somebody on my front porch, with a shotgun, banging on my door.”

Wafer claimed the shooting was self-defense because he thought someone was trying to break into his house in the middle of the night. She was actually seeking help after crashing her car while intoxicated.

On Wednesday, he apologized to Renisha's family and friends saying, “I apologize from the bottom of my heart. I am truly sorry for your loss.”

INSIDE EDITION’s Les Trent spoke to Renisha McBride’s parents. They believe Wafer should spend the rest of his life in prison.  

Trent asked, “Do you believe Theodore Wafer has any remorse?”

Renisha’s father said, “No, not at all.”

Her mother said, “You took a beautiful life and for that, you don't deserve life.”

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The judge found nothing but tragedy in the case saying, “So, what do we have? One life gone and one life ruined.”