'Blink' convinces jurors to convict man in fatal Ohio shooting
CINCINNATI — An Ohio man was found guilty on Thursday of fatally shooting a man who authorities say identified his assailant by blinking his eyes while paralyzed and hooked up to a ventilator.
A jury convicted Ricardo Woods, 35, of murder and felonious assault for the death of David Chandler who was shot Oct. 28, 2010, as he sat in a car in Cincinnati.
Police interviewed the 35-year-old Chandler after he was shot in the head and neck. He was only able to communicate with his eyes and died about two weeks later.
Woods had no obvious reaction to the verdict on the third day of jury deliberations as it was read in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court. But as he was bring led to jail, he said: “I'm innocent.”
Woods' sentencing is set for June 20. He faces up to life in prison.
During the trial, jurors viewed the videotaped police interview that prosecutors say showed Chandler blinked three times for “yes” to identify a photo of Woods as his shooter. The defense had tried to block the video, saying Chandler's blinks were inconsistent and unreliable.
Defense attorney Kory Jackson said Thursday there would be an appeal.
“We're disappointed in the verdict,” he said. “We have said since the beginning that the video should not have been allowed into evidence.”
Judge Beth Myers, who ruled that jurors could see the video, said Chandler's identification was made by pronounced, exaggerated movement of the eyes. A doctor who treated Chandler later testified that Chandler was able to communicate clearly about his condition.
The defense argued that Chandler's condition and drugs used to treat him could have affected his ability to understand and respond during the police interview.
Woods' lawyer also argued that showing Chandler only one photo — that of Woods — instead of presenting a lineup of photos was “suggestive.” Jackson said the case against Woods was about misidentification and “a misguided investigation.”