Man Convicted of Murder Based on Victim's Blinks

Ricardo Woods rejected a plea deal
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2013 4:55 PM CDT
Ricardo Woods is led from court after he was found guilty in the shooting death of a man who authorities say identified his assailant by blinking his eyes while paralyzed, May 16, 2013.   (AP Photo/The Cincinnati Enquirer, Gary Landers)

(Newser) – An Ohio man was convicted of murder and felonious assault today, in a case that hinged in large parts on the videotaped blinks of a dying man. Prosecutors on numerous occasions offered a plea deal to Ricardo Woods that would have seen him spend just 5 years in prison, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports, but Woods refused each time, perhaps believing that the video, in which paralyzed victim David Chandler appears to identify Woods by blinking in response to police questions, wasn't strong enough evidence to convict him.

"Every time we brought it up, he rejected it because he said he was innocent," one of Woods' attorneys says. Prosecutors say they offered the deal because they weren't sure the 16-minute video would be enough. In it, police show Chandler the alphabet, and he blinks thrice when they point to the letter "O"—Woods' nom de guerre as a cocaine dealer. Woods now faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years to life in prison. (Read more Ohio stories.)

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