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Published: Monday, 7/28/2014

Friend: McBride slurring during phone call

Theodore Wafer pauses at the end of Day 3 of his trial. Theodore Wafer pauses at the end of Day 3 of his trial.

DETROIT — Davonta Bynes expected 19-year-old Renisha McBride to stop by his west side Detroit home late Nov. 1, 2013, for a small get-together.

The two traded text messages and a phone call, but as the hours passed it became clear to Bynes that he wouldn’t see her that night.

“I think ... she might have been drinking. She was slurring” her speech, he testified today during the trial of Theodore Wafer, the man charged with shooting McBride to death outside his Dearborn Heights home.

About 1 a.m. on Nov. 2, a drunken McBride crashed her car into a parked car in Detroit, about a half-mile from Wafer’s home and less than 2 miles from Bynes’ home. It’s not known why she appeared 3 ½ hours later at Wafer’s front door, but Wafer, 55, has said he shot McBride in self-defense.

Prosecutors have said there was no reason to use deadly force instead of calling police. They charged Wafer with second-degree murder.

Today, prosecutors called a number of police experts to testify on evidence from her phone, the crash and the shooting.

No calls were answered on McBride’s cellphone after she crashed her car, testified Sam Brue, a special agent with the federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives who analyzed calls and texts to and from the phone.

McBride’s father had been trying to reach her that night and appeared frustrated in a text message that she hadn’t returned his calls, Brue said.

Brue found that a call was made from McBride’s phone to her father shortly before 10 p.m. on Nov. 1. The call lasted 4 minutes and 44 seconds.

After the crash, calls to her phone went to voicemail, Brue said.

Defense attorney Cheryl Carpenter told jurors last week that Wafer was awakened by pounding at a door and believed two or more people were outside.

As the pounding continued, Wafer loaded his shotgun, opened the front door and fired, hitting McBride in the face, Carpenter said.

An autopsy found McBride’s blood-alcohol level was about 0.22, nearly three times Michigan’s legal limit for driving.

Other witnesses called to the stand today by prosecutors included crime lab officers and a state police forensic scientist.

Testimony will continue Tuesday.

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