Man convicted of murder after paralyzed victim identifies his assailant by blinking
Ricardo Woods, 35, was found guilty of fatally shooting David Chandler in Cincinnati in October 2010
Friday 17 May 2013
An Ohio man has been convicted of murder after his paralyzed victim identified him by blinking eyes before he died.
Ricardo Woods, 35, was found guilty of fatally shooting David Chandler in Cincinnati in October 2010.
Mr Wood's defence team had attempted to block use of the police video of the interview, claiming that his blinking was inconsistent and unreliable.
Police interviewed 35-year-old Chandler after he was shot in the neck and head.
He was paralyzed and attached to a ventilator machine and was only able to communicate by blinking his eyes.
When shown a photograph of Mr Woods he blinked three times when asked if this was the man who had shot him as he sat in a car.
He died two weeks after being interviewed by police.
The defense had argued that showing Chandler only one photo — that of Woods — instead of presenting a lineup of photos was "suggestive."
Defense attorney Kory Jackson said Thursday there would be an appeal.
Jackson had argued that Chandler's condition and drugs used to treat him could have affected his ability to understand and respond during the police interview.
Jocelyn Chess, an assistant county prosecutor, said justice was served.
After watching the video, Judge Beth Myers said she found the identification reliable. She noted that Chandler's identification was made by pronounced, exaggerated movement of the eyes and not by involuntary movements.
Legal experts say such cases — where prosecutors attempt to show a defendant was identified by a gesture — are not unheard of but are unusual.
Dying identifications relying on gestures rather than words are often not used in trials because of concern over reliability or differing interpretations.
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