- (Photo: Courtesy Hamilton County Sheriff's Department)
An Ohio man convicted of murder because of a dying man's blinks is expected to appeal the conviction. Ricardo Woods was found guilty of murder and felonious assault in the death of David Chandler, whom he allegedly shot in 2010.
Chandler initially survived the shooting, which took place while he sat in his car three years ago. He was shot in the head and neck, left paralyzed, and was only able to communicate through blinking his eyes. Police questioned him and showed him pictures of possible suspects.
Chandler blinked three times for "yes" and two times for "no," and was able to identify Woods as the shooter. That led to his conviction and trial, but Woods' attorneys have said that the videotaped interview should not have been shown to the jury and that Chandler was inconsistent with his answers.
"We have said since the beginning that the video should not have been allowed into evidence," attorney Kory Jackson told the Associated Press.
Jackson argued that Woods had been misidentified and was innocent in the crime. However, Assistant Hamilton Country Prosecutor Jocelyn Chess insisted that Chandler was fully aware of his actions and that his blinking was "clear, intentional and decisive."
A jury agreed with Chess, and two hours later Chandler was found guilty of the crimes of murder, felonious assault and numerous weapons counts. He could be sentenced to life in prison when he returns to court for sentencing on June 20.
"It's been a long time coming," Chandler's half-brother, Richard Tucker, told the AP in a phone interview. The family, he noted, was "happy that justice has been served."
Chandler succumbed to his injuries two weeks after making the identification necessary to find his assailant.
Woods and his defense team plan to appeal the verdict based on the same evidence that convicted him – the videotaped identification. He had no reaction when the verdict was read but later said, "I'm innocent" as he was led back to prison.