A tearful judge on Wednesday sent a white Michigan man to prison for at least 17 years for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager on his front porch in a racially charged case that sparked protests in the Detroit area.
Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Dana Hathaway sentenced Theodore Wafer, 55, to a mandatory two years for felony firearm usage followed by concurrent sentences of seven to 15 years for manslaughter and 15 to 30 years for second-degree murder.
That means he will serve at least 17 years in prison before being eligible for parole, and a maximum of 32 years.
"This one of the saddest cases," said Hathaway, who teared up as she delivered the sentence after an emotional hearing. "An unjustified fear is never an excuse to take someone's life."
Wafer's private attorney, Cheryl Carpenter, said he would appeal the conviction and has requested a public defender to handle the appeal.