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Trial To Start In Death Of Unarmed Woman On Porch

By The Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) — Roused from sleep by the sound of pounding in the wee hours, a suburban Detroit man grabbed his shotgun, opened the front door and blasted a young woman in the face.

Is Theodore Wafer guilty of murder? Or did the 55-year-old use deadly force based on a reasonable fear that he was at risk?

Jury selection starts Monday in a trial that will put Wafer’s self-defense claim to a tough test. The 19-year-old woman, Renisha McBride, was drunk but unarmed when she climbed the steps of his Dearborn Heights porch, 3 ½ hours after crashing her car a few blocks away.

Wafer, an airport employee who lives alone, is charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and use of a gun during a crime. If convicted of the murder charge, he could face up to life in prison, although the actual term would likely be shorter.

Civil rights activists immediately seized on race after the November shooting — Wafer is white and McBride was black — and some likened it to the 2012 killing of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. But race hasn’t been an issue in court in the months leading to trial.

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James Brown Docs Must Be Released, Says S.C. Court

By The Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A judge has ordered South Carolina’s attorney general to turn over documents to a freelance journalist investigating the court fight over the estate of soul singer James Brown.

Sue Summer wants to see the records, which include the diary of the woman who said she was Brown’s wife when he died in 2006, an appraisal of Brown’s assets, and documents about how much trustees and attorneys are being paid from Brown’s estate. She requested them under the state’s Freedom of Information Act.

Earlier this month, Circuit Judge Eugene Griffith Jr. ruled against Attorney General Alan Wilson, who said he shouldn’t be forced to release the records because they are part of different lawsuits over Brown’s estate.

In his ruling, Griffith said Wilson’s position is “inconsistent with both the letter and spirit” of the state’s open records act, which only allows public records to be kept secret in very specific circumstances.

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James Brown Docs Must Be Released, Says S.C. Court