Man Convicted of Murder After Paralyzed Victim Identifies Him By Blinking

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
article imagearticle image

An Ohio man was convicted of murder after his paralyzed victim identified him by blinking. The victim, David Chandler, died just two weeks after he was interviewed by police.

Ricardo Woods, 35, was convicted of shooting Chandler in Cincinnati while the victim sat in his car. Chandler, 35, was shot in the head and neck on Oct. 28, 2010. Paralyzed and hooked up to a ventilator, Chandler could only communicate by blinking his eyes.

Jurors, who began deliberation Tuesday, watched a video of Chandler blink three times to answer “Yes” when he was asked to identify Woods as his shooter.

The defense team for Woods attempted to block the use of the police interview in court because they said Chandler’s blinking was inconsistent. They claimed the fact that he was shown a picture of Woods rather than a line-up of potential suspects was “suggestive.” Furthermore, defense attorney Kory Jackson said the drugs given to treat Chandler could have affected his ability to respond and understand the police interview.

Judge Beth Myers said the indentification was realiable and that in the video Chandler used pronounced eye movements – not involuntary ones.

While identifiying an assailant through gesture is not unusual in court, dying identifications relying on gestures often are not used over concerns about reliability.

Jackson said Thursday that Woods plans to appeal.

In addition to murder, Woods was also convicted of felonious assault. He could face a sentence of life in prison.

Sources: CBS, Independent