Jury selection began today in the trial of an Ohio man charged with murder in the shooting of a man authorities said identified his assailant by blinking his eyes while paralyzed and hooked up to a ventilator. Ricardo Woods is charged with shooting David Chandler in the head and neck in Cincinnati on Oct. 28, 2010. Chandler could communicate only with his eyes before dying about two weeks later. The case has drawn national attention over prosecutors' plans to show jurors a videotaped police interview with Chandler, which they contend shows him blinking three times to identify a photo of Woods as his shooter.
The defense argued the blinks were unreliable and inconsistent, but the judge ruled earlier that jurors can see the interview. Woods' attorney, Kory Jackson, said yesterday he still thinks the video should be thrown out and that police incorrectly interpreted Chandler's blinks; he also has argued that Chandler's condition and drugs used to treat him could have affected his ability to understand and respond. "But it's up to jurors to decide now," he said. Prosecutors declined to comment prior to the trial on a suspected motive, but authorities have suggested Chandler and Woods knew each other through drug deals.