A man was sentenced to 70 years behind bars after the paralyzed victim he shot identified him with a blink on his deathbed (video below).
Jermaine Hails was convicted of shooting 29-year-old Melvin Pate during a robbery in 2010. Pate was not killed in the shooting, but was left paralyzed and ultimately became a quadriplegic. He succumbed to his injuries two years later.
During the trial, jurors watched video testimony from Pate -- who was lying in a hospital bed, unable to speak. He was shown a photo lineup of suspects in his shooting case, and identified Hails as the man responsible by blinking.
“They told the victim to blink once hard if he recognized someone in the photos he was shown. So, it wasn't the involuntary blink that we all do. It was truly a closing of his eyes and opening them and you could see the tears coming from the side of his eyes as he identified the man who was his killer,” prosecutor Christine Murphy told WRC.
The trial was delayed for several years as the court determined whether or not it was possible for Pate’s identification to be used as proof. The judge ultimately decided to let the prosecution use Pat’s identification, and a jury was shown the video.
Hailes was found guilty of second-degree murder, robbery, assault and other related charges.
The story of Hailes' sentencing quickly went viral, with many saying that he deserved what he got for the crime.
“Wow, a 29 year old person being subjected to two years of living he||, only to lose his life in the end, anyway. I hope his murderer lives long enough to serve every one of those 70 years and is never granted parole,” one Daily Mail reader commented.
“This guy won't get out. We let less serious offenders out with good behavior. Rarely do murderers (some exceptions of course) get out for good behavior. They just get more perks inside,” another added.