Alaskan defense attorneys tried to pin a double murder on a man other than their client, but after reviewing the other man’s testimony, a judge has cleared him of any wrongdoing.
62-year-old James Wells, an Alaskan Coast Guard employee, was just found guilty of fatally shooting two of his coworkers in February 2012, but during the trial, his attorneys attempted to blame the murders on another man, 38-year-old James “Eyeball” Barnum.
According to reports, Barnum was questioned about the killings early on in the investigation because of his association with one of the victim’s daughters, but he declined to talk to either the local police or the FBI. Barnum is known as “Eyeball” because he has a tattoo on his right eyeball, a tattoo of an eyeball on his forehead, and had his right eyeball permanently made black.
Defense attorneys attempted to blame the killings on Barnum, but the judge just wasn’t buying it. The judge believed that his alibi checked out and refused to allow Barnum to be a witness during the trial.
“There’s no relevance to Mr. Barnum other than to scare the jury,” said U.S. Attorney for Alaska Karen Loeffler, referring to his appearance.
After the judge cleared Barnum of any wrongdoing, the attention focused back on Wells, and in the end, a jury found him guilty of both murders. Prosecutors said Wells murdered his two coworkers because he became increasingly jealous of their influence at the naval base where they worked.